For three innings, Briarwood Academy freshman starting pitcher Tiffany Pate did her job remarkably well.
In the top of the fourth inning, Pate experienced some control problems and gave up a couple of extra base hits that led to a four-run outburst by the visiting Brentwood Academy Lady Eagles. She eventually was replaced by freshman relief pitcher Morgan Bentley in the sixth, but by then the Lady Eagles had pushed across six runs. They went to win the game 8-4.
The loss, the second of last week by Briarwood Academy's Lady Buccaneers to a Class AA school, left them with an overall record of 6-7. They continue an unblemished record of 3-0 in GISA Region 1-A this season.
Earlier last week, the Lady Buccaneers of head coach Hannah DeMore, lost to Piedmont Academy 14-2. Briarwood rebounded with a 9-2 victory over Nat-Greene Academy of Siloam last Tuesday.
In the game against Brentwood Academy of Sandersville, Pate kept the Lady Eagles at bay for the first three innings. She didn't allow a hit or a run.
At the time, Pate and teammates were ahead 2-0.
Briarwood scored their first run in the bottom of the second inning. Freshman catcher Nicole Jones was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. She was lifted by Bentley who became the courtesy runner. After right fielder Harley Shelton struck out, Pate drew a walk and was replaced on the base path by Brooke Stewart. Bentley later scored the first run of the game on a RBI bloop single into shallow center field by senior center fielder Emily Henderson.
Briarwood Academy's second run of the game was scored in the bottom of the third inning.
Second baseman Kris Dawson hit a leadoff double into left field and later stole third base. Senior third baseman Maria Celeste Johnson followed by lining a RBI single into the outfield that gave the Lady Bucs a 2-0 lead.
That lead, however, vanished in the fourth inning when the Lady Eagles took advantage of some control problems by Pate and tagged her for a pair of doubles as they pushed across four runs to take a 4-2 lead.
Pate hit Emily Chapman, the first batter she faced that inning and then gave up a RBI double to Morgan Cook that made it a 2-1 game. She later walked Kat Stewart before striking out Liz Strickland for the second out. Pate later had trouble cleanly fielding a ball hit back to her by Maria Cotton which led to another run scoring and thus the Lady Eagles going up by a run, 3-2. Pate gave up another RBI double before the uprising finally ended.
In the bottom of the fourth, Briarwood Academy threatened to score again. They loaded the bases on a single by left fielder MacKenzie Simpson and walks to Dawson and Johnson. With two outs at the time, the threat ended when Kylie Guy pop-flied to Brentwood shortstop Taylor Stone.
The Lady Eagles scored two more runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 6-2 lead.
The big blow was a two-run double off the bat of Brentwood's Kat Stewart.
Briarwood scored their last two runs of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Cameron Stadler, who replaced Jones as the Lady Bucs' catcher, led off by lining a single into right field. Harley Shelton followed with a single into center. The Brentwood center fielder booted the ball allowing both Briarwood runners to advance another base.
Shelton later scored on a ball hit back to the Brentwood pitcher by Pate. Bentley scored the Lady Bucs' other run when Simpson grounded out third base.
Bentley, who came into the game as relief pitcher for Briarwood in the sixth inning, gave up two more runs in the top of the seventh inning.
A big double-play turned by the Lady Eagles in the bottom of the last inning proved to be the demise of the Lady Bucs.