Even though the summer season didn’t end with a win, Lady Tiger coach Larry Weaver felt it could be used as a good learning experience going into the final practices before the season starts.
“I told them Thursday after our final summer league game, while the results weren’t what we wanted and it wasn’t a very fun game to be a part of, it was kind of a fun game to coach. I get to put people in places they may or may not be very comfortable and got to see if they step up and try their best at the different positions,” Weaver said.
Region 5-AA will look similar to the one Temple has competed in for the past two years, but it will be without Callaway and Carver, Columbus while bringing in Bowdon and Bremen. The region loses one playoff team from last season while picking up a pair of Class A state playoff regulars.
“We’re excited to get two longtime rivals back in the region. Not only will it help us raise our competition, but it will help at the gate, too. We’re excited about that, but we know and respect Bremen and Bowdon both. They make it to where we won’t be able to backdoor our way into the playoffs and that will make us step up our game and earn everything we’re going to get,” Weaver said.
The Lady Tigers lost a trio of seniors from last year’s team, but the biggest loss may be Jennifer Pope, who was the ace pitcher for Temple in 2011.
“We’ve noticed we had a couple more holes pop up than we anticipated, but losing Jennifer Pope in the circle was a big hit. We’ve got Candace Thompson, who’s a junior, she’s stepped up big for us this summer. We also have a freshman, Leanna Arrington, she’s going to step in and we’re expecting big things from her,” Weaver said.
Leading the 2012 squad will be Erin Acree, but the senior hasn’t been able to work out with the team due to an injury. Weaver still believes once she is cleared, she will have an immediate impact.
“Erin Acree is a big contributor and senior leader for us. She’s still rehabbing from an ACL injury during basketball season. We’re without her right now just waiting for her to get cleared, but we expect big things out of her during her senior campaign,” Weaver said.
Now all that’s left is cleaning up the little things before hosting Lithia Springs a week from Thursday.
“We’re trying to fine-tune everything. Weather-permitting, we’re trying to get back out there [Tuesday] and make sure our pitchers are fine-tuned both mentally and physically, make sure our offensive game plan’s where we need it to be. There’s a lot of little things, fielding errors and throwing errors we have to make sure to sure up before we start playing for keeps,” Weaver said.