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Athlete of the Week: Buford's Drew Puckett
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Honor Roll

Softball

Remington Hasty, Buford: Hit a grand slam in the third inning and finished with six RBIs and two runs scored in a win against Jefferson on Saturday.

Haley Warner, Banks County: Had a home run, a single, four RBIs and three runs scored in a win against West Hall on Thursday.

Olivia Husted, Jefferson: Hit a three-run homer with five RBIs in a 3-for-3 performance against Rabun County last Tuesday.

Kali Turner, East Hall: Hit a three-run single in a win against West Hall last Tuesday.

Volleyball

Katie White, Lakeview Academy: Recorded 83 digs, 42 kills and six aces in two wins and five losses last week.

Kelsi Jones, West Hall: Had 41 kills and 28 digs in three wins and a loss last week.

Sydney Cleveland, North Hall: Tallied 56 kills, 18 digs, nine blocks and five aces in seven wins last week.

Kristina Gregory, North Hall: Had 75 assists, seven kills, five digs and six aces in seven wins last week.

Maggie Roper, Buford: Recorded 51 kills and 16 digs in seven wins last week.

Gabby Curry, Buford: Tallied 20 digs, 19 kills and 13 aces in seven wins last week.

Morgan Mitchell, Buford: Had 117 assists in seven wins last week.

Cross Country

Bryce Schuebert, North Hall: Won the Lambert River Run in 16 minutes, 33 seconds on Saturday, leading the Trojans to a team first-place finish.

Buford sophomore infielder Drew Puckett struggled at the plate to start the year off. After an outstanding showing her freshman year, Puckett’s 2013 outing was not what she envisioned when she started the season, but she is finally hitting her stride at just the right time.

“I have not been hitting very good, and I really just wanted to start helping my team,” Puckett said. “I was letting everything get to me (at the beginning), and I wasn’t playing to help my team.”

Puckett realized that her mindset was off, and she decided to make a few changes, putting her team first heading into this past Saturday’s game against Jefferson.

She recorded seven RBIs and three runs scored off three home runs, including one grand slam that ended the game, in the Lady Wolves’ 17-4 win. For her efforts, she is The Times’ Athlete of the Week.

“I was just thinking about how much my team needed me,” Puckett said. “I felt like I was seeing the ball really well, and I just tried to make solid contact.”

The Lady Wolves did need her in the game. Jefferson built a 4-0 lead on Buford after the second inning. At that point, Puckett took matters into her own hands.

“She literally just took the game over,” Buford coach Tony Wolfe said.

She hit a two-run home run in the third inning to tie the game at four, and then she led off the bottom of the fourth with another home run.

The Lady Wolves took a 13-4 lead soon after, and then Puckett was up to bat again.

“She came up with the bases loaded and just hit a grand slam to make it 17-4 and end the game,” Wolfe said.

After her excellent freshman season, hitting like this is what Puckett expects out of herself, but she admits the grand slam was exciting and unplanned.

“I was just planning on hitting a line drive in the gap to score those runners,” Puckett said. “I didn’t think it would be a home run.”

Her coaches and teammates were almost as surprised as she was when it went over the fence, but they were certainly not disappointed.

“It’s good to see her coming back around,” Wolfe said. “Even we weren’t expecting that out of her. She’s a good hitter, she gives us a lot offensively, and she does have home run power, but that was unexpected.”

Puckett is certainly an offensive threat in the Buford lineup, but Wolfe believes she has many other skills that advance the team as well.

“She’s a good all-around player,” Wolfe said. “She holds her own out there in the infield, and she’s a big part of our defense as well.”

Her hitting abilities, however, make her dangerous to any other team the Lady Wolves play.

“Production out of her really makes our lineup impossible to crack when she’s swinging that well,” Wolfe said.

If Puckett’s goals are any indication of the future, Buford can expect even more powerful hitting from her in future games.

“I’m always trying to hit better than I did the game before,” Puckett said.

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