One run in an international tiebreaker in the eighth inning handed the Briarwood Academy Lady Bucs their second GISA Region 1AA loss in softball action last week at Briarwood.
Errors caused the Lady Bucs downfall in the 8-7 loss to the region-leading, undefeated Lady Gators of Gatewood School of Eatonton.
Now 4-2 in region play and 8-5 overall, the Lady Bucs were scheduled to face Brentwood School in Sandersville Tuesday as they begin their second round of region games. It's critical that the Lady Bucs win those games to make it to the region playoffs, according to Coach Robert Waller.
In upcoming region games, the Lady Bucs will play host Edmund Burke Academy at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, and Piedmont Academy, who beat the Lady Bucs 2-0 in Monticello, at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
The Lady Bucs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on the Lady Gators when Katie Reese reached home on a hit by Cassie Pickrell. They held onto that lead until the top of the third when the Lady Gators scored two runs on two fielding errors to take a 2-1 lead. Two more fielding errors in the top of the fourth added three runs to the Lady Gators' tally, putting the Lady Bucs down 5-1.
The Lady Bucs came alive in the bottom of the sixth, scoring six runs to take a 7-5 lead.
In the top of the seventh, more errors by the Lady Bucs allowed the Lady Gators to tie the game at 7-7. In the bottom of the seventh, with two outs, Beth Gerlach slammed the ball to the fence, only to be called out on a close call at the plate.
In the top of the tiebreaker eighth inning, the Lady Gators began the inning with a runner on second, as called for by international tiebreaker rules. Yet another error by the Lady Bucs allowed the Lady Gator on second to make it home for an 8-7 lead. The Lady Bucs failed to get their runner from second base to home and suffered their second region loss.
"That's the sad story," Coach Waller said of the numerous errors committed by the Lady Bucs in the loss. "That's how Gatewood beat us twice last year. They let us beat ourselves.
"If you cannot catch or throw, you cannot play softball. Yesterday (Monday), we could not catch or throw."
Fielding errors were the Lady Bucs' downfall in their first region loss of the season, a 2-0 loss to Piedmont Academy last week in Monticello.
Both teams had four hits in the game, but "a couple of (Lady Buc) errors with their four hits allowed them to beat us," Coach Waller said.
The Lady Bucs jumped off to a 4-0 lead over region foe Curtis Baptist School of Augusta last week in Augusta and didn't look back until the game was called at 12-0 in the fifth inning.
"We hit the ball really well. We ran the bases well. Everything we did clicked," Coach Waller said.
Sara Nutial was the winning pitcher. Beth Gerlach and Cassie Pickrell tripled for the Lady Bucs.
Pinewood Christian bunted and stole their way to a 5-3 win over the Lady Bucs last week at Briarwood.
"Coach (Eddie) Durrence is the master of small ball. If he gets them on, he'll steal, bunt, whatever, he'll get them home," Coach Waller said.
All five of Pinewood's runs were unearned, according to Coach Waller.
The Lady Bucs finished that week with a 12-0 win over Monroe Academy in Forsyth.
Gerlach's first inning homer drove Ali Dyson home to begin the scoring for the Lady Bucs.
The game was called in the fourth with the Lady Bucs up 12-0.