Some luck of the draw for the South Effingham Lady Mustangs.
When the Region 2-AAAA softball coaches met last April to talk about this year’s schedule, the Lady Mustangs got a familiar — very familiar — foe for their entry into their new region.
South Effingham will welcome in-county rival Effingham County to Mustang Field tonight at 6:30 in the season opener for both teams. It’s a region game to boot and it’s also the Lady Mustangs’ first game at their refurbished field.
“It’s a new challenge with a new classification,” said Lady Mustangs coach Donnie Ussery, whose team was a Final Four participant in Class AAA last year, “and with all the expectations of South Effingham softball.”
The Lady Mustangs scrimmaged last week against Calvary Day and used the tuneup to take a look at their battery.
Ussery has to replace ace Alison Kirkland and wanted to see if Sally Faircloth and Casey Johnson were ready to step into the 1-2 spots in the rotation.
He believes he’ll get an idea how far his team has come in the few weeks of preseason practice tonight.
“We’ll find out where we’re weak at real quick,” Ussery said. “Effingham County is going to be one of, if not the, team to beat in the region. A program the quality and caliber of Effingham County will let us know what we need to work on.”
South Effingham’s scrimmage with Calvary had been pushed back two days because of rain. Effingham got its scrimmage with Groves in last Tuesday, and coach Matt Huntley said that will go a long way in easing anxiety.
“I hope we can roll right into Guyton without any nerves,” he said.
It also will be the first game for the Lady Mustangs in a redone home, complete with new lockerrooms and a handful of other improvements to the field.
“I’m excited for the girls and for the girls who will eventually get to play here,” Ussery said. “A lot of thanks has to go to (Randy) Shearouse and the board of education for the time and money they spent. The new lockerroom is a testament to all those who passed through. I’m really thankful for what the board has done.”