ODESSA â€” Forsan's Lady Buffs won't be returning to Austin for a shot at a third straight state softball championship but it won't be from a lack of effort.
After falling to Alpine 14-1 Friday, the Lady Buffs rallied to tie the best-of-three quarterfinal series with a 7-5 win.
â€śI thought they showed a lot of character and a lot of fortitude,â€ť Coach Shanna Taylor said of her young Forsan team. â€śWe hit three home runs in that game and we put them (Alpine) on the run.â€ť
Unfortunately for the Lady Buffs, it was Alpine that hit most of the long balls in Game 3, and took an 8-3 victory to seal the series. The Lady Bucks will advance to play Jim Ned in the state semifinals.
Coach Taylor knew her Forsan team went into the game at a disadvantage. One of her starters had to have eye surgery, forcing some changes. Another player had to leave because of an illness in the family.
â€śWe had about three players who were returning starters. So we were going with a group of mostly young and inexperienced girls,â€ť Taylor said. â€śI think the third game just boiled down to experience. They were more experienced than we were. We just couldn't withstand the pressure.â€ť
Taylor said she was proud of the job pitcher Ashley Buzbee did, especially following in the footsteps Amanda Longoria, a two-time all-state selection.
â€śOur seniors were Miranda Park, Kevy O'Brien, Morgan Forshee and Kay'c Stanley. They did a really good job this year. We're losing four seniors and hopefully we will be able to replace them. That is always a challenge,â€ť said Taylor, 2010's Coach of the Year. â€śEven the young girls who came in did a good job. They just lacked a little experience.
â€śI am very proud of what we have started in Forsan and hope to continue. We'll be a lot stronger next year and they'll want it more. I think they'll know exactly what it is going to take,â€ť added Taylor, whose Lady Buffs compiled a 24-10 record this year.
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