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Lady Bucs ready for season

The Briarwood Lady Bucs will open their 2005 softball season at 9 a.m. this Saturday, August 13, facing Flint River Academy in the Trinity Christian Lady Crusader Fall Invitational Tournament in Dublin.

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Ali Dyson smiles after sliding into second base during a scrimmage last week.

The Lady Bucs, Trinity, Flint River, Piedmont Academy and Fullington Academy are the teams participating in the double elimination tournament, according to Coach Robert Waller.

"Trinity is very strong, and Piedmont is traditionally strong. That's all I know about the teams in the tournament," Coach Waller said. "We're just going to play and get some experience."

The Lady Bucs, who participated in a summer weightlifting program, began practicing July 25 for the season.

"We've made slow, but steady progress," Coach Waller said, adding that he's expecting outstanding seasons from the team's two seniors, third baseman Beth Gerlach and shortstop Katie Reese.

"They're working hard and setting a good example, providing the kind of leadership a team needs," he said.

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Sophomore Caitlin Rodgers unleashes a pitch during the scrimmage.

The team has a trio of experienced juniors who will contribute heavily, according to Coach Waller.

Liz Grant "was one of the best catchers in the league last year and looks even better this year," while Angela Kirkland "has been doing a fantastic job" at second base. One of the team's strongest hitters, Ali Dyson will be the team's leadoff hitter and play in the outfield.

The outfield will be rounded out by sophomore Cassie Pickrell, who is "very strong in centerfield." Sophomores Samantha Jenkins and Whitney Carani will alternate in right field, while freshman Jamie Russell will see a lot of playing time in the outfield, according to Coach Waller.

The Lady Bucs have a major strength with two young, but experienced fast pitch softball pitchers. Sophomore Caitlin Rodgers and freshman Sarah Nutial will alternate pitching and playing first base.

Eighth grader Erin Wester has moved up to the varsity to back up the catcher.

The Lady Bucs will open their regular season by playing host to Thomas Jefferson Academy at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, August 16. They will travel to Bellville on Thursday, August 18, to face Pinewood Christian School at 4:15 p.m.



Web posted on Thursday, August 11, 2005











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