The Briarwood Lady Bucs opened the 2005 softball season by taking a second place finish in the Trinity Christian Fall Invitational softball tournament last weekend in Dublin.
"I saw a lot of good things, and I saw some things that I need to work on and the team needs to work on. We'll get busy on it," Coach Robert Waller said, adding that overall he was pleased with the Lady Bucs first outing.
The Lady Bucs scored tournament wins over Flint River Academy and Bulloch Academy, but fell twice to an extremely strong Trinity Christian team, in the second round of play and in the championship game.
"They didn't lose anyone off last year's team, and they have a strong, veteran pitching staff," Coach Waller said. "A good team will take a mistake and hone in on it, and that's what Trinity did. Every time we made the littlest mistake, they capitalized on it."
The Lady Buc seniors led the team with Beth Gerlach making the Lady Bucs most outstanding hit, "a bomb to the fence," and shortstop Katie Reese pulling off "a spectacular catch" in short left field, behind third base.
Both Reese and Gerlach were named to the All Tournament team, along with sophomores Cassie Pickrell and Caitlin Rodgers.
Catcher Liz Grant should have joined them, according to Coach Waller.
"Liz Grant caught four games on the hottest day of the year and did a fantastic job behind the plate," Coach Waller said. "To catch four games on a day like that, with all that equipment on, I don't know how she did it, and she played well offensively."
The Lady Bucs had an easy time of it in their first round game, a 15-0 win over Flint River Academy.
Aided by Gerlach, Rodgers allowed only one hit while facing the minimum number of batters. With Flint River's only runner of the game on first, Gerlach caught a line drive on third and doubled the player at first out.
The Lady Bucs got sent to the Loser's Bracket with a 7-2 loss to Trinity in the second round.
"It was a case of walks and errors," Coach Waller said. "We didn't play well offensively or defensively."
The Lady Bucs rebounded in the third game with a 5-2 win over Bulloch. With the game tied at 1-1 in the top of the fifth, Gerlach hit her "bomb, the best hit of the day," for a stand-up double, scoring one run. The Lady Bucs kept hitting, adding three more runs in the inning for a 5-1 lead. Bulloch added one more run in the bottom of the sixth.
The win threw the Lady Bucs into the championship game with Trinity where it was "the same old story."
"They did a lot of bunting, and we didn't do a very good job of bunt coverage," Coach Waller said. "We hit the ball, but we hit it straight at them."
The Lady Bucs finished the tournament with a 9-1 loss to Trinity.
The Lady Bucs were scheduled to open the regular season on Tuesday by hosting Thomas Jefferson Academy of Louisville. They will travel to Bellville on Thursday to face perennial AAA power, Pinewood Christian School. The Lady Bucs will host Westminster School of Augusta, at 4 p.m. on Monday, August 22, and Brentwood School of Sandersville, at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23.