Both sides of that potential were on display Tuesday in a scrimmage game against Chattooga High that was won 6-4 by the Lady Eagles.
"Overall we had a good showing," coach Michael Adcock said. "We did well considering the limited amount of practice we have been able to get in with all the heat."
The Lady Eagles were paced from the mound by Janna Scheff, who allowed no runs during her 6 3/4 innings of work -- a performance that was split when an alternate pitcher threw 1/3 of an inning and was victimized for several runs.
After pitching for five innings, Scheff left the game. Stephanie Rosser was brought in and several defensive changes made. Chattooga scored four runs while the Lady Eagles got one Lady Indian out.
Scheff was brought back in and gave the Lady Indians a steady diet of heat -- hotter even than then double-and triple-digit thermometer readings common on Tuesday -- to limit the damage and let Excel walk away with its 6-4 scoring differential.
Adcock stressed the positives in the development -- the fact Scheff was able to choke out the fire and that Rosser allowed only one hard hit ball during her stay.
"Janna is one of the best pitchers in the state and you saw it tonight," Adcock said. "The good thing about this is that having her work in this difficult a situation this early will only pay dividends for us down the road."
Scheff was not the only bright spot for the Lady Eagles.
Excel scored its first run of the night when Kelly Sullins exploded on a high pitch out over the plate and sent it over the center field wall, recording both the first home run of her career as well as her first grand slam.
"Kelly's been coming out and working with us and listening and learning," Adcock said. "Tonight that work really paid off."
He said Sullins also showed her diversity later in the game by laying down a sacrifice bunt to score two runs as she drove in all six of the Lady Eagles' runs.
Adcock also had praise for the work of Kelly Sullins' sister, Kaye, who assumed the role of catcher on the team.
"Taylor (Brown) has been our catcher and this is the first time in four years that we've had someone else behind the plate," Adcock said. "Kay called a great game for us and she was very agile back there.
"She also made some offensive plays for us, too."
Adcock said the team had a good offensive night.
"We had very few strikeouts because we kept the ball in play all night," he said.
He said the team's youth did show at times but said that should change, especially as the season brings a physical toughness to the team.
"We need a lot of repetitions and to play ourselves in shape," he added.
Excel, in Region 6A-A, opens its season Thursday at 5 p.m. when it hosts rival Mt. Paran, which is in Region 6B-A.