Valdosta Daily Times

Local Sports

April 10, 2012

Lowndes' Maiah Talmage signs with ABAC

VALDOSTA — Lowndes center fielder Maiah Talmage has signed a letter of intent to play softball for Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College next year.

Talmage looks forward to going to ABAC and playing college softball for the Fillies.

“I like it,” she said about the college. “It’s small and it’s close to home. For my first two years, I’d rather be close (to home).”

Last year, Talmage was an honorable mention All-State selection at Lowndes. She batted cleanup for the Vikettes and hit .398 with eight doubles, 14 runs batted in, a .446 on-base percentage and a .548 slugging percentage. She finished second on the team in batting average. She was also a first-team All-Region selection.

“My senior year, I worked really hard to get to where I am,” she said. “I had a really good year.”

“It was really fun watching her play last year,” said Alex Gray, who was Lowndes’ head coach during Talmage’s three years on the varsity team. “What a huge asset she developed into for us. ... When she got the chance to step out, she definitely made her presence known.”

In 2011, Talmage helped Lowndes go 19-12 and win the Region 1-AAAAA championship for the second year in a row. The Vikettes made it to the second round of the state playoffs.

“This season was really fun,” she said. “It was probably the most fun that I’ve had playing softball.”

Talmage was also selected to play for the South team in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association All-Star Game in Rome. She will play in the game with some of the top senior softball players in the state, including pitcher Ashley Chapman, her Lowndes teammate.

Talmage was a member of Lowndes’ varsity team for three years. She was primarily used as a courtesy runner her sophomore and junior years, but was put in center field her senior year, and was one of the Vikettes’ top players in 2011. During her time at Lowndes, the Vikettes won two region championships and made it to the Elite Eight in Columbus in 2010.

Talmage will join two former Lowndes teammates at ABAC. Third baseman Logan Cooper and outfielder Heather Bishop were members of Lowndes’ 2010 region championship team with Talmage. Talmage said she was excited about playing with Cooper and Bishop again next year with the Fillies.

Talmage is happy she got to play for Lowndes.

“I’m really glad. I wouldn’t choose any other team but Lowndes,” she said. “(The softball team is) more like a family, not a team.”

She also plays travel ball for a team named CHAOS (which stands for Christ Honored And Others Served).

Talmage was also a member of Lowndes’ track team for three years.

Talmage plans to major in physical education in college, then study to become an athletic trainer.

Talmage is one of three Lowndes senior softball players that have signed with colleges this year. Chapman has signed with Santa Fe College, while catcher Randi Smith will play for Valdosta State.

“I’m proud of all of them,” Gray said. “Those are three girls that are going to be extremely missed. They’re very hard workers, (with) great attitudes. They really helped the program out a lot. (They’re) just an overall good example of what it means to be a Vikette softball player. I’m really happy for them. ... Everything they did, they put their team first.”

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