Well, we have not even gotten the basketball season off the ground yet, and already college softball and baseball teams are beginning to prepare for the 2006 campaign. At Augusta State, both teams will feature a good number of players who hail from Columbia County.
In softball, the Lady Jags feature four players who spent their prep careers in Columbia County. Former Evans star Anna Cheely has transferred to ASU from Georgia College and State University. Cheely, a 5-3 middle infielder, will play a key role for the Lady Jags.
A pair of former Greenbrier standouts also are on the Augusta State roster. Freshman Jenni Massingale, a 5-3 pitcher, steps out of the huge shadow cast by high school teammate Kristen Glover. Also, Erica Johnson, a three-sport standout while at Greenbrier, will suit up for ASU this season. Johnson is a 5-3 junior and will play infield and outfield this year.
The Augusta State baseball team also will be loaded up with Columbia County players. Leading the group is senior pitcher Justin Walker. The former Evans star had a disappointing junior season but has had a stellar career for the Jags. The 6-0, 185-pounder will be heavily counted on by Jags Coach Skip Fite.
Joining Walker on the pitching staff is freshman Ben Dukes. As a 5-10 lefty, he comes in after a terrific high school career at Greenbrier and could figure prominently in the Jags' plans this season.
Another former Greenbrier standout could be behind the plate for ASU this year. Jeremy Armstrong, a 5-8, 172-pound sophomore, surprised many with his production for ASU last season. He is the leading candidate to start at catcher. Armstrong came out of nowhere this past spring to start 27 games and finished third on the team with a .312 batting average.
Also back this season is senior infielder and part-time pitcher Preston Crews. Crews spent his prep career at Lakeside and has been a jack-of-all-trades for coach Fite throughout his career at ASU. The 5-9, 173-pound Crews will likely continue his role as the team's "Mr. Utility" this season.
Support our local athletes by catching either team this season. The regular season for both begins in February.
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