Local players try out for USA softball team
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
A quartet of local softball players gave it their best shot.
Four members of the Troup Thunder softball team participated in tryouts to be a part of the USA Softball’s 12-and-under national team that will play in a tournament in Oklahoma City in August.
Carolyne Garcia, Hudson Wood, Abby McGill and Zoe Graham were among the more than 70 players who tried out for the team.
Garcia and Wood both made it past the first round of cuts, and Wood was in the final group although she wasn’t one of the 15 players selected for the team.
“There were 75 girls from all over the Southeast,” said Jason Graham, the head coach of the Troup Thunder. “It was good for those girls to get on a field where everybody around them plays at a high level so they can test themselves, see where they stand.”
Graham invited all of the Troup Thunder players to participate in the tryout, and four of them decided to take the leap.
“It was probably a five-hour tryout, and during they process they would make cuts throughout,” Graham said.
Garcia and Wood survived the first round of cuts, and following the next round of cuts Wood became one of the 24 finalists.
“They scrimmaged for about an hour and narrowed it down to 15, and Hudson made the top 17,” Graham said. “She didn’t make it, but she was there at the end competing, so that was pretty special.”
Graham felt it was a positive experience for all of the players.
“Even though ultimately the girls didn’t make it, the team was coached by college coaches and players, and they shared individual feedback from their tryouts on things they can work on to get better,” Graham said. “It was a neat experience for them to put that (USA Softball) shirt on.”