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Briarwood coach is optimistic for success

It's time for girls' softball at both private and public high schools across Georgia.

And no one is any more pumped about the season than the Briarwood Academy Lady Buccaneers, their coaching staff and fans.


The answer is simple.

The team returns several players from a year ago that made it all the way to the state finals. Briarwood finished runners-up in the Georgia Independent Schools Association Class A State Playoffs.

"We had a tremendous run last season and I'd love it if we could do it again this season," said Briarwood Academy head coach Hannah Demore. "I definitely think we're contenders for the state title this year."

Even better, coach Demore, now in her third year, said she'd love it if her team won it all this year. "I really think we have a good chance of making it back to the state finals again, because we have some talented and experienced players on this team," said coach Demore. "The more games we play the better I believe we'll get."

Prior to last Thursday's 5-3 loss to Bullock Academy's Lady Gators in the Lady Buccaneers' home opener, they had only lost two games -- Pinewood Christian and Brentwood Academy -- both Class AA schools.

Briarwood's victories had come over Edmund Burke Academy, Memorial Day and Robert Toombs.

This year's team is led by three seniors: Maria Celeste Johnson, who plays third base; Emily Henderson, who plays centerfield; and Savannah Carani, who plays first base.

"They know what it's all about," said coach Demore. "They are the leaders of our younger players."

Three of the team's pitchers are back for another season, too. They include Megan Smith, a sophomore; and Tiffany Pate, a freshman; and Morgan Bentley, a freshman.

Several other players also are expected to help the Lady Buccaneers this season. They include: Nicole Jones, a freshman catcher; Cameron Stadler, Kylie Guy, Copeland Price, Rachel Coxwell, MacKenzie Simpkins and Kris Dawson.

During the off-season, coach Demore said her players have been involved in working out in the weight room.

The end result: "We're much stronger," said coach Demore. "It should help us a lot with the bat."

If hitting comes around and the team becomes better, defensively, she believes the Lady Buccaneers "can go as far as want to go."

Web posted on Thursday, August 26, 2010

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