A two-run loss to Gatewood School last Thursday resulted in the Lady Bucs facing long time nemesis Pinewood Christian School of Belleville, the number one seed in Region 2AA rather than the number four seed from that same region, in this Saturday's semi-finals of the Georgia Independent School Association's AA state tournament.
The first round game, pitting the number four seeded Lady Bucs against Pinewood Christian, will be played at 10 a.m. this Saturday in the double elimination tournament at Southern Pines Regional Park in Dublin.
"If we can't beat them now, we can't beat them later," Coach Robert Waller said.
For the past two years, the Lady Bucs have been the AA state runners up to Pinewood in slow pitch softball. Both schools made the transition to fast pitch softball this season.
The Lady Bucs, minus their two starting pitchers, lost a pre-season game to Pinewood by two runs, 8-6, in Bellville.
The Lady Bucs could play as few as two games or as many as five games in this Saturday's semi-finals where the top 16 teams in the state are whittled down to eight for the finals. The finals will be played the following Saturday, Oct. 16, also at Southern Pines in Dublin.
The Lady Bucs, who finished their first season in fast pitch softball 8-4 in region play and 13-7 overall, finished up their regular season last week with two home games.
Seniors Ashley Pickard, Anne Wills, Blythe Ansley and Cassie Whitaker were honored last Tuesday in the Lady Bucs 17-2 region win over Monroe Academy.
Probably the Lady Bucs most important game of the regular season, didn't turn out as well on Thursday when, in their final regular season game, the Lady Bucs played host to league-leading Gatewood School.
"Had we won, we would have been region co-champions," Coach Waller said of the closest region race in GISA AA. "Instead, we're in fourth place. That's how close our region was. One of the best teams in our region was Piedmont (Academy), and they're not even going to the playoffs."
The Lady Bucs jumped out to an early lead, playing excellent ball. They had a 5-1 lead going into the fifth inning when, with only nine outs left to win the game, they seemingly self-destructed.
"We simply gave it to them on a silver platter," Coach Waller said. "We couldn't catch it; we couldn't throw it; we couldn't hit it. We had at least 10 physical errors and several bad mental errors that cost us. We left six people either on second or third base. We didn't deserve to win."
Senior Anne Wills led the Lady Bucs against Gatewood. She was two-for-three at the plate and played an errorless game from her shortstop position.