Lady Buffs won't three-peat but effort is strong

ODESSA — 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. “I thought they showed a lot of character and a lot of fortitude,” Coach Shanna Taylor said of her young Forsan team. “We hit three home runs in that game and we put them (Alpine) on the run.”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.“We had about three players who were returning starters. So we were going with a group of mostly young and inexperienced girls,” Taylor said. “I think the third game just boiled down to experience. They were more experienced than we were. We just couldn't withstand the pressure.”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.“Our 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,” said Taylor, 2010's Coach of the Year. “Even the young girls who came in did a good job. They just lacked a little experience.“I 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,” added Taylor, whose Lady Buffs compiled a 24-10 record this year.