For starters, this year's squad boasts two of the county's -- and region's -- most dominant pitchers of the past several years.
Both Janna Scheff and Emily Clay fairly mesmerized opposing batters for 45 victories against 14 losses with both of their ERAs well below two runs for the season.
Together they struck out almost 300 batters.
Both dominated their opponents throughout the season and their teams' records reflected that performance.
Scheff's Excel Christian Academy made the first round of the state playoffs, losing to Strong Rock Christian, which made the GHSA Class A Softball Final Eight. The only other team they lost to all season (four times) was region foe Gordon Lee, eventual state champion in the classification. The Lady Eagles ended the season as the state's No. 8-ranked team.
Woodland's season ended at the hands of Kell, in the first round of the state playoffs, which advanced to the GHSA Class AAAA Softball Final Eight as well, where it lost one of its two games to eventual state champion Jones County.
Scheff and Clay are joined by a bevy of stars who had extraordinary hitting averages and defensive capabilities such as Diana Wimpy, Woodland's catcher who led her team in almost every offensive category from batting average -- an eye-popping .577 -- to home runs, with a dozen.
No all-star team would be complete without Samaria Curtis of Cass who pounded her offerings at a .473 clip while scoring 34 runs. Samaria also was swift of foot, as she stole a school-record 35 bases.
Just as crucial to their teams were Excel senior Abby Hibbard and Adairsville's Taylor Weeks.
Hibbard had a .419 batting average with nine home runs and 38 RBIs. Weeks, in addition to being the Tiger pitching ace, pounded out 36 hits and batted .456.
Pitcher Janna Scheff, Excel
The senior compiled a rare 25-6 record with a 1.04 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 162 innings of work. She was also an offensive weapon at the plate, batting a staggering .573, with nine home runs, 10 doubles and 39 RBIs. Scheff made no fielding errors and was what head coach Danny Deems called a leader by example with a great work ethic. She was selected to play in the Georgia Dugout Club all-star game at Mercer University and made the Region 6-A All-Region First Team.
Pitcher Emily Clay, Woodland
Clay, a four-year starter, amassed a 20-8 overall record this season while striking out 124 batters. She threw seven shutouts and pitched 165 2/3 innings with a 1.65 ERA, allowed 134 hits and walked 55. She was all-county pitcher of the year last year and is a three-year member of the all-county team.
Catcher Diana Wimpy, Woodland
The senior moved to catcher this season, where she led the Lady Wildcats in almost every offensive category. Wimpy had a .577 batting average, pounded out 12 home runs, 49 RBIs, 13 doubles, five triples and had a .635 on base percentage with a 1.166 slugging percentage. She also was one of the keys to hold Woodland runners on base with a throwing time from home to second at 1.8 seconds. Wimpy was selected to play in the Georgia Dugout Club all-star game at Mercer University, where she won the home run derby Friday by hitting three home runs off former University of Georgia pitcher Michelle Green.
Outfielder Sydney Howell, Excel
Howell, a senior, played both infield and outfield and also caught several games during the season. She was a human dynamo at the plate, with a .455 batting average; seven home runs; 14 doubles; 26 RBIs; and scoring 36 runs. Her coach also called her a stellar defensive player who is completing four years as a starter for Excel. Howell was named to the Region 6-A All-Region First Team.
Infielder Kelly Sullins, Excel
The senior pounded out a .357 batting average and hit six home runs and 31 RBIs, to go along with five doubles. Sullins, a Region 6-A All-Region Second Team selection, hit the game-winning home run versus Trion. Coach Deems praised her as a very hard worker who had an outstanding season both offensively and defensively.
Infielder Abby Hibbard, Excel
The senior, a four-year varsity team member, compiled an impressive .419 batting average, nine home runs and 38 RBIs to go along with eight doubles. Hibbard, who scored 32 runs during the year, has verbally committed to Valdosta State. Coach Deems calls her a spirited leader on the team. Hibbard made the Region 6-A All-Region First Team.
Outfielder Ainsley Faulk, Woodland
The senior, who moved to right field this season, hit .357 and was walked a team high 26 times. She scored 42 times and collected 33 singles during the season, both also team highs. Ainsley was credited with nine RBIs, two doubles and eight stolen bases. She had a .492 on-base average with a .376 slugging percentage. She has signed with Auburn Montgomery.
Outfielder Olivia Rutledge, Woodland
The senior, Woodland's starting center fielder the past three years, hit .374 with 17 RBIs. She had nine assists and committed no errors. Olivia hit eight doubles and one triple and had a .393 on-base percentage and a .475 slugging percentage. She is considering Lee College and Georgia College & State University. Rutledge was selected to play in the Georgia Dugout Club all-star game.
Infielder Samaria Curtis, Cass
The four-year varsity starter set the batting average record this season at Cass, by hitting .473 and scoring 34 runs. She stole a school-record 35 bases in 36 attempts in 29 games. Her slugging percentage was .667 with a .528 on-base percentage. She collected 44 hits, five triples, two home runs and 16 RBIs.
The senior played shortstop and third base for the Lady Colonels. She is a three-time member of the all-county team, two-time all-region team.
Infielder Haley Hood, Cass
The senior played second base and shortstop and was a four-year varsity starter (three years at Cass and one at Excel). She was Cass' Defensive Player of the Year and was second only to Curtis as she hit .427 with a .517 slugging percentage, a .485 on-base percentage, scored 21 runs, collected 38 hits, three doubles, one triple, 19 RBIs and 20 stolen bases.
Infielder Taylor Weeks, Adairsville
The 10th-grader pitched, played second base and shortstop and led the Lady Tigers in batting average, on-base percentage and runs scored. She collected 36 hits with a batting average of .456. Weeks scored 25 runs, walked 15 times, hit seven doubles, two triples and seven RBIs and had six stolen bases. Her on-base average was .543 and she had a .595 slugging percentage. At the mound she was 7-19 with 141 innings pitched, giving up 119 hits, 80 walks and striking out 133. Her ERA was 3.72. Her fielding stats included 149 assists, 12 putouts, four errors and a fielding percentage of .976. Weeks made the Region 7-AA All-Region First Team.
Infielder Kaye Sullins, Excel
Kaye Sullins, a senior and twin sister of Kelly, earned a .461 batting average with one home run, seven doubles, and 20 RBI's. She was described by coach Deems as an excellent defensive catcher who kept opposing runners in check all season with her defensive skills and strong throwing arm; a clutch hitter and effective baserunner. She was selected to play in the Georgia Dugout Club all-star game at Mercer University. Sullins also was selected to the Region 6-A All-Region First Team.
Honorable mention: Cartersville -- Julia Shephard and Tinsley Dobson; Woodland -- Lacey Fritz, Casey Bucy, Taylor Braselton, Sydney Flowers, Cheyanne Burt, Erin Hitchcock and Brittany Mahrt; Cass -- Myra Russell and Nicole Bailey; Adairsville -- Kaliegh Liscio, Cassidy Howren and Mallorie Collum; Excel -- Emily Willingham and Stephanie Rosser.