Cassidy Howren of Adairsville and Woodland’s Casey Bucy and Lacey Fritz comprise the rosters of this year’s Elite 80 teams.
High school teammates Bucy and Fritz will play on opposite teams at the Elite 80 — with Bucy on Team 4 and Fritz on Team 5.
Howren will play on Team 3 during the Elite 80.
“I was really excited. I was shocked that I made it actually because I didn’t think I did too well out there, but I’m excited that I made it,” the rising Lady Tiger junior said.
Bucy enjoyed the fact that through her hard work alone she was able to make the team following last month’s tryouts.
“It was a good feeling,” she said. “I knew that I made it by myself and [it was] not [that] somebody else helped me make it.”
Howren — who hit .324 and scored 13 runs last season — anticipates facing off against a high level of competition.
“My coach [Meredith] Barnhill, she works for the Georgia Dugout Club and she told me it will be fun but [there] will also be a lot of competition that I’ll be facing, and [there] will be plenty of coaches out there,” added the 7-AA All-Region Second-Team selection.
Howren, an Adairsville catcher and second baseman, is looking forward to the experience.
“I am excited [that] there [are] gonna be a lot of colleges out there that, hopefully, I [can] go to,” she said, listing North Georgia and a handful of SEC schools she’d like to attend. “It’ll really show me [what] college is gonna be like and how much I need to improve my game and stuff like that.”
Bucy also extolled the benefits of playing in the showcase. As the lone rising senior amongst the Bartow girls, the Lady Wildcat hopes to catch the eye of a college heading into her final prep season.
“It’s gonna be a good experience for colleges to look at me,” she said. “I’ve talked to a few but I’m just not really sure who I’m gonna go to, and I just gotta make the right decision.”
No stranger when it comes to showcase events, the Woodland pitcher — who mainly played in the outfield last year — does not figure to be fazed much by the swarm of college coaches at the Elite 80.
“It’s probably gonna be a little [nerve-wracking] but I’ve played in enough showcases … so you always have that [coaches’ presence],” said Bucy, who hit .302 with 31 RBIs and two home runs and was named to the 7-AAAA All-Region First Team in 2010.
“It’s gonna be a lot of the top girls in Georgia out there,” said Fritz, a rising junior. “It’s a really great opportunity and I’m really excited that I made it on my first tryout.”
Fritz hit .353 with 30 RBIs and two home runs last year and was named to the 7-AAAA All-Region Second Team. She hopes to display the improvement she’s made during the summer.
“I’ve been playing travel ball 24/7 and that’s really helped me improve,” said the Lady Wildcat catcher, a designated hitter most of last season. “I think this is just gonna be another feather to put in my cap, helping me with my goals.”
Leading off a slate of games Wednesday, Team 1 and Team 4 play at 1 p.m. on Field 1 while Team 2 faces Team 3 on Field 2. At 3 p.m., the matchups switch to Team 4 vs. Team 5 (Field 1) and Team 6 vs. Team 1 (Field 2). Team 5 vs. Team 2 (Field 1) and Team 3 vs. Team 6 (Field 2), both 5 p.m. contests, concludes a day’s worth of games.
Below are the rosters for each of the Elite 80 teams.
Victoria Bates, Coffee County; Samantha Britt, Loganville; Claire Carter, Berrien; Katie Collins, Tattnall County; Morgan Dingler, Walnut Grove; Morgan Duff, Effingham County; Maddie Evans, Effingham County; Savanaah Goldsmith, Heritage-Catoosa; Meredith Heyer, Hillgrove; Meagan May, Colquitt County; Cortasia McMillian, Jeff Davis; Mackenzie Oliver, Franklin County; Emily Pauley, McIntosh; Kristin West, Heritage-Catoosa.
Ciera Champion, Haralson County; Olivia Duncan, Madison County; Haley Ellis, Worth County; Kendall Hahn, Pope; Dana Horgan, Fayette County; Lindsey Johnson, Appling Christian Academy; Lanier Paul, Buford; Savannah Ransom, Perry; Kristin Rawlins, Harlem; Jessica Siggers, Callaway; Lindsey Stokes, Harlem; Sydney Turner, North Forsyth; Katie Usher, Northside-Warner Robins.
Morgan Bell, Mill Creek; Morgan Beshears, Alcovy; Whitney Brown, Lumpkin County; Heather Ellis, Worth County; Cassidy Howren, Adairsville; Darby McNally, Johns Creek; Miranda Miller, West Hall; Emily Robertson, Mill Creek; Hillary Rowell, Brunswick; Amanda Rutkowski, South Forsyth; Elise Smith, Northview; Mackenzie Toler, Whitewater; Allison Vaughn, Heritage-Catoosa; Kelsey Winkler, Loganville.
Emily Anderson, LaGrange; Casey Bucy, Woodland-Bartow; Erika Flippin, Woodland-Henry; Madeline Hewatt, Loganville; Tori Hunter, LaFayette; Victoria Mitchell, Mill Creek; Kalin Oglesby, South Paulding; Katie Rowland, Mary Persons; Rebekah Rude, Buford; Randi Smith, Lowndes; Jesslyn Stockard, Heritage-Catoosa; Chandler Stooksbury, Kennesaw Mountain; Megan Whitlatch, Lambert; Lydia Witkowski.
Kendsey Chappelear, Franklin County; Laurel Clarke, McIntosh; Kayla Davis, Paulding County; Makenzie Day, North Paulding; Rachel Farris, Harrison; Lacey Fritz, Woodland-Bartow; Gabby Hunt, Whitewater; Courtney Jacobs, Johns Creek; Allie Kelley, Columbus; Kelli McCormack, Cherokee; Cara Tucker, North Murray; Molly Uhrman, Kennesaw Mountain; Ansley Weatherford, South Paulding; Kathryn Woody, Kennesaw Mountain.
Morgan Chumbler, Creekview; Kelsie Clark, Baylor School; Erica Davis, West Forsyth; Rebekah Farris, Kennesaw Mountain; Landon Farrow, Franklin County; Taylor Hartenbach, Marietta; Morgan Howard, Kennesaw Mountain; Taylor Johnson, Rockdale County; Andie McGregor, Peachtree Ridge; Kristen Mills, Harlem; Jessie Pruett, Carrollton; Anna Rowe, Cherokee; Shelby Sinclair; Peyton Roth, Whitewater.