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Dacula's Sydney Boulware throws a pitch during a 2019 game.

Class AAAAAAA

Region 8-AAAAAAA

Collins Hill

Head coach: Adam Newland

2019 record: 12-14

Returning starters: P/INF Emily Whitehead, Sr.; OF Alyssa Mejia, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: C Kendall Metts, Jr.; INF Britney Phally, Jr.; UP Kam Munson, Fr.; 3B Monroe Oglesby, Soph.; P/OF Sydney Kolacki, Soph.

Outlook: Collins Hill will sport a revamped lineup — eight starters graduated from the 2019 team — in one of the state’s toughest regions. Whitehead and Mejia provide senior leadership for a team that will rely heavily on its youth.

Mill Creek

Head coach: Paul Pierce

2019 record: 13-14

Returning starters: OF Dallis Goodnight; SS Olivia Shaw; 1B Kathleen Maijala; 3B Helena Nagy; C Angelica Gallegos; OF Alora Bevily

Other key players/newcomers: 3B Madison Dobbins; P Lindsay Kline; P Megan Gable; OF Lael Ayala

Outlook: The Hawks, typically a state power, had a slightly down year in 2019, but still made the state playoffs, falling to East Coweta in the first round. They look to improve this year with some key players back in the lineup, including Gwinnett player of the year Goodnight, who hit .528 last year with 15 RBIs, 30 runs scored, 39 stolen bases and seven triples. Georgia Tech commit Dobbins has battled back from injuries to give Mill Creek a big boost.

Mountain View

Head coach: Mike Cason

2019 record: 25-9

Returning starters: P/DP Sarah Currie, Sr.; C/INF Chloe Shrope, Sr.; SS/P Lauren Evens, Sr.; 3B/P Lexie Simonton, Sr.; OF Kellie Ervin, Sr.; OF Brooke Finley Sr.; OF/P/1B Ahmari Braden

Other key players/newcomers: 1B Claire Schneider, Sr.; 2B Callie Shrope, Fr.

Outlook: Mountain View raced through the playoffs last year as a surprise state champion, but the reigning champs won’t be underdogs anymore. The Bears, who won their first playoff game in 2019, return a solid group of veteran players to pursue another title. Leading the way is Currie, who was 18-4 (8-0 in the playoffs) with a 1.57 ERA last season. She also hit .359 with 18 RBIs.

North Gwinnett

Head coach: Amanda Heil

2019 record: 27-3

Returning starters: Grace Connelly, Sr.; Caroline Shumeyko, Sr.; Haley Cummings, Sr.; Marisa Miller, Jr.; Bella Faw, Soph.; Jaylyn Benson, Soph.; Amber Reed, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: Simone Leonard; Laila Sims; Lilly Runaas; Mia Mitchell; Ella Janish

Outlook: The Bulldogs look to bounce back from a disappointing ending to the 2019 season, which ended with an upset loss in the state playoffs after a dominant run up to that point. A large group of talented players are back from that team, including pitcher Reed, who went 18-1 with a 1.61 ERA and 106 strikeouts in 113 innings. The key bats back in the lineup are Connelly (.421, 40 hits, 27 RBIs, 34 runs), Shumeyko (12 runs, seven RBIs), Cummings (.300, 16 RBIs, 13 runs), Miller (.424, 39 hits, seven homers, 36 RBIs, 28 runs), Faw (.381, 32 hits, 21 RBIs, 20 runs) and Benson (.438, 38 hits, nine homers, 36 RBIs).

Peachtree Ridge

Head coach: Josh Joiner

2019 record: 17-17

Returning starters: P Elle Lunsford, Sr.; C Samantha Brown, Soph.; SS Jaylah Jarrell, Soph.; INF D’Amani Gadson, Jr.; OF Kennedy Harp, Soph.

Other key players: OF Juhles Kelly, Jr.; OF Zaia Hammond, Jr.; UP Sidney Strange, Jr.; UP Ava Lunsford, Soph.

Outlook: A great run late in the season earned Peachtree Ridge the Program of the Year award from the Gwinnett Diamond Club. The Lions emerged from a difficult region — as the at-large team in the state bracket — that included powerhouse North Gwinnett and eventual state champion Mountain View to reach the Class AAAAAAA Final Four. The region isn’t any easier and two key players graduated, but the talent back includes veteran pitcher Elle Lunsford and slugger Harp, who hit .427 with 13 home runs and 29 RBIs (three homers, eight RBIs in four state games in Columbus).

Region 7-AAAAAAA

Archer

Head coach: Emily Wilson

2019 record: 21-10

Returning starters: Kailynn James, Sr.; Faith Barth, Sr.; Jordyn Sanders, Sr.; Katy Moore, Sr.; Olivia Craig, Sr.; Skylar Berkiser, Sr.; Alex Hollingsworth, Jr.; Taylor Anderson, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: Abby Parkerson, Soph.; Taniya McGowan, Soph.; K.K. Walls, Jr.; Mallory Tullis, Jr.

Outlook: An established lineup with veteran leadership should make the Tigers a contender in 7-AAAAAAA and in the state playoffs. Six seniors are among the returning starters, including Barth, a Georgia Bulldogs commitment at shortstop who hit .448 with 31 RBIs as a junior.

Berkmar

Head coach: Bryan Allen

2019 record: 6-15

Returning starters: P/3B/1B Elizabeth Umanzor, Jr.; C/SS/2B Adriana Nunez, Sr.; OF Azziza Hallman, Jr.; SS/2B Karen Espina, Jr.; SS/2B Ana Espina, Jr.; CF Mindy Tran, Sr.

Outlook: Improving Berkmar has been to the state tournament two out of the last three years, including in 2019. But due to graduation and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Patriots have taken a hit in experience and roster depth. They will play a non-region schedule in hopes to build roster numbers and experience.

Discovery

Head coach: Nicole Osborn

2019 record: 7-11

Returning starters: Heidi Loa; Joycelyn Lieu; Angelica Cortina; Genevieve Munoz; Valeria Segura; Terran Harper; Mya McDonald; Jasmine Richardson; Dakota Vaughn

Other key players/newcomers: Kimberly Vancica; Maria Yoselin Bonilla; Yoali Sanchez; Marielliz DeJesus; Diana Quiroz-Medrano

Outlook: The young program continues to improve with each season and figures to be competitive again this year. Loa, a senior, and Cortina, a sophomore, are among hte key player back this season.

Duluth

Head coach: Dawn Marsh

2019 record: 4-21

Returning starters: 2B/P Aaliyah Perez; OF Allison Garcia; OF Isabel Rodriguez; P Kendall Smiley; 1B Lindsay Robinson; 3B Maddox Garcia; C Saria Simmons; DH Sara Bombardieri; UP Nysa Pierre

Other key players/newcomers: OF Alexis Boyd; 2B/OF Honor Morton; UP Jayla Alexander; SS Marisa Stenberg; INF Morenije Bankda; INF Sophia Camarena; INF Katelyn Thompson

Outlook: Duluth will be young, but does have a solid group of returning starters back as the team pursues its first state tournament appearance in eight years. The Wildcats figure to be state contender after moving into a new region away from state powers like Mill Creek, Mountain View, North Gwinnett and Peachtree Ridge.

Meadowcreek

Head coach: Andre Bevily

2019 record: 6-5

Returning starters: Julie Atkinson; Sara Gomez-Argueta; Chelsea Giaona; Diana Hidalgo; Ashanti De La Espalda; Alexia Casey

Other key players/newcomers: Kimberly Meraz Fuentes

Outlook: The Mustangs look to be competitive with a solid group of returning players back from 2019.

Norcross

Head coach: Ryan Ermers

2019 record: 17-13

Returning starters: P Bella Krauth, Sr.; 1B/OF Faith Lawrence, Sr.; OF/P Kedzie Howe, Sr.; 3B Serenityy Starr, Sr.; C Molly Hamrick, Jr.; OF/1B Sara Tracey, Jr.; INF/C Lea Smith, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: INF Cate Sidey, Fr.; OF/P Emma Sidey, Fr.; INF/C Skylar Bashada, Soph.; INF Lea Cohen, Soph.; OF/C Addie Donahue, Soph.

Outlook: Norcross had a breakthrough 2019 season, reaching the second round of the state playoffs for the first time. A talented group, led by seven returning starters, hopes to advance deeper this year and reach the final round of state in Columbus.

Region 4-AAAAAAA

Brookwood

Head coach: Jennifer Maloney

2019 record: 11-16

Returning starters: P Grace Young, Sr.; 1B Anna Dover, Sr.; OF/C Morgan Hall, Sr.; 1B/DP Jaryn Gibson, Sr.; 2B Olivia Jaime, Jr.; SS Kayla Widy, Jr.; OF Elle Bass, Soph.; C Olivia Rogozinski, Soph.; 3B Thalia Martin, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: INF Ella Bahr, Soph.; C Jessica Newson, Soph.; OF Kylin Beard, Fr.; OF Kennedy Horton, Fr.; P Ashley Meja-Vega, Fr.

Outlook: Brookwood returns a large group of experienced players, which creates high goals for 2020. The returnees include senior leaders in Young, Dover, Hall and Gibson.

Grayson

Head coach: Bill Batchelor

2019 record: 30-8

Returning starters: P Kylie Macy, Sr.; C Skyler Gilbert, Sr.; INF/P Lauryn Peppers, Sr.; INF/P Sam Smith, Sr.; SS Kelsie Walker, Sr.; 3B Kayla Grace Lang, Sr.; CF Kailyn Jones, Sr.; RF Emma Davis, Jr.; UP Jordyn Green, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: 1B Hailey Roberts, Sr.; OF Kayla McDuffie, Sr.; C Carter Freeman, Jr.; DP/P Riley Summers, Jr.; INF Megan Dagenhart, Jr.; OF Nia McKnight, Fr.; OF/INF Carrie Green, Fr.

Outlook: Ten seniors, many four-year starters, are after a state championship after coming extremely close as juniors when the Rams finished as the Class AAAAAAA runner-up to Mountain View. Georgia recruit Macy is back at pitcher after going 22-4 with a 0.64 ERA and 263 strikeouts in 153 2/3 innings last season. The offensive returnees include Jones, a Virginia commit who hit .495 as a junior with four home runs, 37 RBIs, a school-record 17 doubles, two triples, 40 runs scored and 43 stolen bases.

Parkview

Head coach: Jessica Sinclair

2019 record: 18-13

Returning starters: Lauren Buchanan; Kellyn Hartwick; Kaily Collett; Bella Arnold; Neriah Lee; Lauren Brister

Other key players/newcomers: Olivia Kotowski; Braelyn Queen

Outlook: Sinclair’s first season as the Panthers’ head coach was a success. The team reached the Elite Eight of the state playoffs and won the region championship. A repeat will require replacing five starters lost to graduation.

South Gwinnett

Head coach: Jalana Brown

2019 record: 4-15

Returning starters: Did not report

Other key players/newcomers: Did not report

Class AAAAAA

Region 8-AAAAAA

Buford

Head coach: Tony Wolfe

2019 record: 24-11

Returning starters: C/1B Abbi Perkins, Sr.; OF Emmy Hall, Sr.; OF Alicia Ross, Sr.; P Riley Reese, Sr.; SS Taylor Malvin, Jr.; 3B Shamya Young, Jr.; C/3B Emma Castorri, Soph.; P/1B Olivia Duncan, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: OF Emmaline Williams, Sr.; OF Abby Cochran, Jr.; P/1B Chloe Hatcher, Soph.; INF Madison Pickens, Fr.; C/OF Mackenzie Pickens, Fr.

Outlook: Hopes are high again for Buford, a traditional state power that won 10 straight state championships from 2007-16. The Wolves made another good run in 2019, reaching the Class AAAAA Final Four after winning the Region 8-AAAAA title. They make another jump in class this season to AAAAAA.

Central Gwinnett

Head coach: Chad Smith

2019 record: 5-15

Returning starters: Skylar Mosley; Kassie Carpenter; Ximena Garcia-Mora

Other key players/newcomers: Savannah Mosley; Alana Elmore

Outlook: Smith’s group is smaller in numbers than usual, but the coach likes his players’ dedication and enthusiasm as it enters a new region and classification.

Dacula

Head coach: Kelli Poff

2019 record: 27-7

Returning starters: P Sydney Boulware; C Lani Johnson; 1B Maia Mumpfield; SS Emily Digby

Other key players/newcomers: Riley Ballew, Sr.; Olivia Howard, Soph.; Emily Stern, Soph.

Outlook: Poff led her alma mater to a third-place finish in Class AAAAAA last season, and brings an experienced team back for Year 2. Boulware, Pitcher of the Year and first-team all-state in 2019, is back in the circle, while Digby and Mumpfield are part of a potent offense.

Lanier

Head coach: Caitlin Schmidt

2019 record: 6-14

Returning starters: P/1B Carly Forrester, Sr.; 2B/SS Payton Franklin, Sr.; 3B/OF Alissa Miner, Sr.; P/SS Lauren Cothern, Jr.; OF Madison Fadely, Jr.; C/1B Sara Byrum, Soph.; 3B Cecelia Sampona, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: C/1B Samantha Fadely, Fr.; OF/C Devon Kokoszka

Outlook: The Longhorns aim to improve on last year’s season and compete in a region with some new teams. Seven returning starters are back to help that cause, including seniors Forrest, Franklin and Miner.

Shiloh

Head coach: Chris Polk

2019 record: 8-15

Returning starters: Did not report

Other key players/newcomers: Did not report

Class AAA

Region 5-AAA

Greater Atlanta Christian

Head coach: Dave Martin

2019 record: 9-11

Returning starters: Sydney Deardorff, Sr.; Caroline Marschalk, Jr.; Charlee Cutchins, Jr.; Rachel Pellegrini, Soph.; Karis Davis, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: Sydney Falk, Sr.; Daisy Strine, Jr.; Sarah Thomas, Soph.; Cydney Merrick, Soph.; Abbey Duke, Soph.; Annie Ahmed, Fr.

Outlook: It will be a season of change in multiple ways for the Spartans, who lost key players to graduation and have a new head coach in Martin, a successful coach previously in California. He replaces former coach Jessica Coan Crawford, one of GAC’s all-time greats in the sport. Deardorff, transitioning from shortstop to pitcher, will be key to Martin’s first team, as will Ahmed, who will replace Deardorff at shortstop and anchor the middle infield with returning second baseman Pellegrini. Marschalk is the catcher, while Cutchins (first base/pitcher) and Davis (outfield) also bring valuable experience.

Class A Private

Area 4-A

Hebron

Head coach: Demetrius Frazier

2019 record: 20-12

Returning starters: 2B Nicole Azar; SS Carly Fahey; 1B Jessie Parish; P Layton Morris; OF/C Olivia Brewer

Other key players/newcomers: Natalie Helton; Julie Manners; Taylor Mansell; Bryleigh Sissom; Rory Byrd; Bella James; Morgan Smith

Outlook: The Lions sport lots of momentum after the best season in school history. They reached the final round of state in Columbus for the first time in 2019, and finished among Georgia’s top five teams in Class A Private.

Providence

Head coach: Preston Smith

2019 record: 2-23

Returning starters: C/1B Sydney Flood, Sr.; P/INF Maymie deMayo, Jr.; INF/C Anna Reeves, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: OF Camille Gunter, Jr.; OF Megan Knight, Jr.; INF Brittain Gaines, Fr.; INF/P Lindsay Mosley, Fr.

Outlook: Eight seniors graduated off the Storm’s 2019 roster, leaving spots open all over the lineup. The team will build around Flood, deMayo and Reeves as it looks for the program’s first state playoff appearance since 2016.

Wesleyan

Head coach: Mary Stephenson

2019 record: 32-2

Returning starters: SS Reece Holbrook, Sr.; 2B Gracie Taylor, Sr.; OF Elizabeth Bertram, Sr.; 1B/OF Riley Keller, Sr.; OF Tinsley Bertram, Jr.; C/1B Emma Nydam, Sr.; INF Christina McCoy, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: OF Lindsey Suits, Sr.; P/OF Jessica Nolan, Jr.; P/1B Ryley Kutter, Soph.; P/INF Macey Cintron, Fr.

Outlook: Stephenson is excited about the leadership of a senior class that gets its chance after the graduation of a talented group off the 2019 team, including two-time Daily Post Pitcher of the Year Madison Kerpics and two-time Daily Post Player of the Year Jahni Kerr. The returning players have loads of postseason experience after winning state titles in 2017 and 2018 and finishing as state runner-up in 2019. Among the key bats back are Holbrook (.323, four home runs, 31 RBIs, nine doubles, four triples last season), Taylor (.429, 36 RBIs, 11 doubles, four triples), Elizabeth Bertram (.429), Tinsley Bertram (.307, 22 RBIs) and Keller (.301). Nolan is the top returning pitcher with exerpience — she was 6-0 last year with a 2.90 ERA.

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