The Lady Buccaneers of Briarwood Academy lost a heartbreaker to No. 1-ranked Terrell Academy in the Final Four of the GISA Class A Girls' Softball State Playoffs in Milledgeville on a cold, rainy day last Saturday. The Lady Eagles scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to escape with an 8-7 victory.
Because of weather conditions and fields becoming dangerously slippery, the remaining games scheduled to be played that day were postponed. They were rescheduled for this past Tuesday. Complete coverage of how Briarwood did in the finals will be included in a story in next week's edition of The McDuffie Mirror.
Briarwood was to have played the Thomas Jefferson Academy Lady Jaguars in the loser's bracket on Tuesday.
"After being ahead the entire game and then losing in the last inning was very disappointing," said Briarwood Academy head coach Hannah Demore. "We had them where we wanted them. We just didn't get the job done."
Terrell Academy struck for the first run in the bottom of the second inning, following a pair of hits off Briarwood senior pitcher Gerry Hall.
The Lady Buccaneers stormed right back to tie the game at 1-1 with a run in the top of the fourth inning. Left fielder Emily Henderson led off with an infield hit before being forced out on the base path. Hall followed by reaching on a miscue by the Terrell second baseman. She eventually scored on another error.
Hall charged back in the bottom of the frame to retire the three Terrell batters in order.
That's when Briarwood Academy got red-hot with the bats, scoring five runs while batting a round. Both of the hits during that offensive surge were doubles -- a two-run extra-base hit by Henderson and an RBI double by senior first baseman Taylor Echols. Those scoring runs for the Lady Bucs during that uprising were Henderson, Hall, Echols, Rachel Coxwell and senior center- fielder Lizzie Keen.
Terrell Academy, which won back-to-back state championships in 2004 and 2005, never allowed Briarwood Academy to get the best of them. They continued picking apart the Lady Bucs' lead and before long, they had managed to tie the game at 7-7. The Lady Eagles scored a pair of runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth.
The winning run was scored in the seventh by center fielder Lauren Barfield, who led off with a single. Two sacrifice offensive plays allowed Barfield to move to third base before she scored on a winning hit by Lauralee Flournoy.