Derrick Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Chapel Hill sophomore infielder Rylie Moody will help lead the Panthers this season as they look to challenge for a sixth straight region title.

The season starts today with several teams in action. There will be a few games that could shape the season for county teams in the county week.

Here are five games that could have an impact on the season:

Chapel Hill vs. Lithia Springs (Aug. 15 and Sept. 6): This is more of a measuring stick for Lithia Springs as Chapel Hill is among the top programs in the state. These two non-region games will give Lithia Springs a chance to see how it stacks up. The Lions have made the postseason the last two years and are looking to finally advance. Chapel Hill is a five-time region champion and a 2015 state champion.

South Paulding at Chapel Hill, Wednesday: The new era in Chapel Hill softball begins against a region playoff contender. This will be a good opening test for both teams. South Paulding is a Class AAAAAA school that competes against Alexander, Douglas County and Northgate. This will be the first game for Adam Graham as the new Chapel Hill head coach.

Alexander vs. Chapel Hill (Aug. 14 and Sept. 17): County and family bragging rights will be on the line in this non-region contest. This will be the season opener for Alexander as Chapel Hill would have played six games if the weather holds up. It is also Military Appreciation Night as the Graham brothers - Zack (Alexander) and Adam (Chapel Hill) square off against each other. Added to the excitement will be Alexander junior third baseman Taylor Middlebrook first game against her former teammates at Chapel Hill.

Alexander at East Coweta (Aug. 15 and Sept. 19): Following an emotion first game against county rival Chapel Hill, the Cougars must travel to powerhouse East Coweta the next day. The Indians swept Alexander last season by winning 8-0 at home and taking a 4-3 win in 10 innings in Douglasville late in the season. East Coweta will be a good test as the team was 36-0 in 2017 en route to the Class AAAAAAA championship. The Indians are again expected to be the contender for the state title.

Alexander at Northgate, Aug. 28: This will be the region opener for Alexander as it tries to defend it region championship in 2018. The last two seasons, these two teams have met for the region title with Alexander coming out on top both years at home. Northgate has to replace its best player Charla Echols, who signed with Michigan State. The stakes are high in this game as the winner could be the top seed again in the region tournament.

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