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Big week for softball, volleyball in Clayton

By Jeffery Armstrong

Tonight starts a lively week among Clayton County high schools in softball and volleyball.

A feature softball matchup tonight in Clayton County has the North Clayton Lady Eagles traveling to the other side of the county to take on the Lovejoy Lady Wildcats. Game time is set for 5:30 p.m.

In Henry, the Henry County Ladyhawks softball team is looking for a measure of payback as they host the Upson-Lee Lady Knights tonight at 6 p.m.

Upson-Lee defeated Henry County 1-0 last Thursday for the Ladyhawks' first Region 3-AAAA loss. Henry pitcher Amber Harrell hit a batter and then gave up a double and a single for Upson-Lee's score.

Other softball games in Henry tonight include Union Grove hosting region foe Starr's Mill at 5:55 p.m., Eagle's Landing Christian against Landmark Christian at 5 p.m. and Eagle's Landing High at Dutchtown at 6 p.m.

In volleyball action tonight, Eagle's Landing and Luella travel to face Warner Robins while Stockbridge and Henry County travel to Dutchtown for a 5 p.m. contest. The Dutchtown games may be up in the air if Dutchtown's facilities aren't finished.

The Jonesboro Lady Cardinals softball team plays its season-opener against the Ladyhawks Thursday at 6 p.m. Jonesboro head coach Jeanine Conkle looks forward to the game.

"It should be a good game, I hope. It would've been nice if we had some games under our belt before playing Henry County," Conkle said. "They will have 13 games under their belt before playing us."

Conkle said her team has looked good in practice, but sometimes they don't feel like being there.

"They've been dragging sometimes," she said. "We've been practicing since the end of July n we're ready to play a game."

Conkle said she's made some adjustments which should work well for the Lady Cardinals. She's moved two-year third baseman Kellsie Currin, a junior, to shortstop and moved senior left fielder Nicole Soto to third. Conkle put non-starter Shawan Gwinn, a junior, to left field and she said all three are adjusting well to their new positions.

One Jonesboro player who doesn't have to worry about a position switch is junior pitcher Heather Lowry, who had an outstanding sophomore season. Lowry posted an 18-10 record with an 0.49 earned run average and 300-plus strikeouts.

"Heather is looking awesome so far," Conkle said. "I think she'll be even better than last year."

Other softball games scheduled for Thursday include Mundy's Mill at Mt. Zion (5 p.m.), Riverdale at Redan, Forest Park at Lovejoy (6 p.m.), Dutchtown at Upson-Lee (5 p.m.), Mt. Zion-Carroll at ELCA (5 p.m.), Stockbridge at Griffin (4:30 p.m.) and Luella at ELHS (4:30 p.m.).

Volleyball games Thursday include North Clayton, Columbia at Jonesboro (5 p.m.), Stephenson at Morrow (5 p.m.), Lovejoy at Stockbridge (5 p.m.), Mary Persons, Jackson at Luella and ELHS, ELCA at Union Grove (5 p.m.).