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Trinity looks to defend title
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    Win back-to-back region and state titles, win over 20 games in a row and go undefeated — those are the lofty goals of the Lady Lions of Trinity Christian, who open the season today against Abundant Life at 4:30 p.m. at Memorial Field.
    “We have a big bull's eye on our back right now,” said TCS assistant coach Paul O’Brian. “Everybody else is gunning for us. They want to be the ones that say they knocked off the top dog.”
    Trinity made an improbable run to a softball state championship in 2006 with a team that featured no seniors. This season TCS will have two 12th graders and almost the entire starting lineup back, competing in Class A of the Georgia Christian Athletic Association.
    They’ll enter today’s contest with a 13 game winning streak and hope to surpass 20 in a row, something Southeast Bulloch accomplished in the fall of 2006.
    Megan Page and Lauren Kibler (son of head coach Keith Kibler) will front TC’s pitching staff as the team’s two seniors. Coach Kibler and O’Brian have received help from Georgia Southern pitcher Logan Free in developing their two aces.
    Slapper Gracie Quattlebuam will be near the top of the order again this year while Savannah Spring and Ashley Hart are also expected to have an impact. Chelsea and Whitney Eubanks, sisters who each hit a homerun in the 2006 state championship, also return to the core of the starting nine.
    Kibler and O’Brian both expect each team they face to put forth its best effort, which is why they believe they have to stay one step ahead of the competition this season. The Lions spent the offseason playing in the Statesboro Rec League, and both coaches said they plan on expanding their team’s knowledge, teaching signs and some of the finer points of the game.
    “This year the girls are gaining even more confidence than last year,” said O’Brian. “As long as I’ve been (coaching) it seems like this is the quickest girls have picked it up — it’s amazing.”

    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912)-489-9408.