Diamond Preview 2022: Dawson County
The new era of Dawson County softball got off to a fantastic start. Justin Rickett took over for longtime coach Jimmy Pruett and garnered 16 wins and made an Elite 8 run. That marked the first such run to Columbus, and best win total, since 2014 for the Lady Tigers, who won 22 games on the way to the quarterfinals. This past season, Dawson finished with a #5 state ranking. The program is in great hands. The goal in 2022? Much the same…
“We are planning to compete for a chance to make the state playoffs,” states Rickett.
Head Coach: Justin Rickett, 2nd season
2021 Record: 16-21; Elite 8; #5 State Ranking
As Rickett well knows and as his program modeled last year despite being the fourth team out of Region 7-AAA, anything happens once you get into the postseason.
Key Departures: Annslee Kirby, Gracie Vaughan, Ainsley Allen, Olivia Martinez, Rylie Erickson
Key Returning Players: Layne Bailey, Ace Cochran, Lauren Kurtz, Reese Moore, Micah Burruss
There’s no doubt some talent has been swept off the roster. Exhibit A, B, and C are Olivia Martinez, Rylie Erickson, and Annslee Kirby among others. However, the five key returning players listed above are going to be one year better as softball players, and Bailey (just a junior) has so much upside. The P/IF/OF has been at showcases and camps all summer, including Georgia Tech. She’s got two-way skill as a shutdown pitcher and pop in the bat, with multi-homerun power. Micah Burruss is a solid corner infielder as well, and just a sophomore. That duo will take the team as far as they want to go.
Strengths & Areas of Focus
“The team has great chemistry and great kids who believe in each other,” exclaims Rickett.
Focusing On: Defense and Pitching. According to Rickett, this is the primary focus right now. As we know, pitching plays, and defense wins.