CONYERS -- The Rockdale softball team is looking to fill a couple key spots in its lineup this season and build on last year's success.
The Lady Bulldogs posted a 14-7 record last year in Justin Arrington's first season at the helm. However, the season was cut short with an early exit in the Region 8-AAAA tournament.
Rockdale lost two key players to graduation -- pitcher Katie Ferrell and shortstop Quilla Franklin. Both were first-team selections last season on the all-region team.
"We are trying to fill in a couple of spots," Arrington said. "If we can throw strikes and not give up free passes and let our defense work, then we should be fine."
The Lady Bulldogs have plenty of talent returning, including sophomore Breanna Richardson, sophomore Candace Johnson, senior Cidney Scoggins, senior Katelyn Baker and senior Amber Mitchell.
Arrington is looking for good things from sophomore transfer Taylor Johnson.
"Taylor Johnson has been solid behind the plate thus far," he said.
This season, the team strengths for the Lady Bulldogs should be defense and hitting, especially the first six bats in the lineup.
"Our defense should be able to stand toe-to-toe with anyone," Arrington said. "Our one through six hitters swing the bat pretty well."
But the key for the Lady Bulldogs will be pitching with the departure of Ferrell.
"I hope our pitchers can keep us in games by throwing strikes and letting the defense behind them do their job," Arrington said.
The Lady Bulldogs are off to 1-4 start this season, including a 1-0 mark in Region 8-AAAA after blasting Clarke Central 17-0 in Athens on Thursday.
"We started the season in Madison County at the Leadoff Classic Tournament and played some good teams which showed us some of the areas we need to address as region play gets started," Arrington said.
Rockdale makes its home debut at 5:55 p.m. today against Loganville.