The Buford High softball program is back in familiar territory.
Thanks to the Lady Wolves’ sweep of North Murray in Thursday’s second-round playoff series in Buford, they are going to make the trip to Columbus for the state finals for the seventh consecutive season. Buford won both games against North Murray by the score of 8-2.
No. 1 Buford (29-10) is seeking a state-record fifth consecutive title in Class AA. Play in Columbus begins Thursday at the South Commons Softball Complex and wraps up with the state championship game Oct. 29.
“This is so exciting to be going back to Columbus,” said Buford senior Kallie Case, who had a pair of triples, two RBIs and three runs scored in the second game. “It’s kind of like a dream.”
In Game 1, Buford broke a tie at two apiece in the fourth, scoring four runs in the inning. The key was when Lady Wolves catcher Lanier Paul placed a bunt on the right side of the infield and there was no one there to cover first base.
Case, a University of Alabama commit, followed with a walk to load the bases. Then, with two outs in the inning, senior University of Tennessee verbal commit Lexi Overstreet connected on a ball thrown right down the middle of the plate for a grand slam to straightaway center field.
“Lexi’s home run was big in every way for us,” Buford coach Tony Wolfe said.
The four-run inning wiped out some early woes on the bases for Buford, including two runners that were thrown out at the plate.
Jordan Deep had a two-run single for Buford in the seventh inning, and Madyson Wynegar drove in a pair of runs with a double in the first.
“As a whole, I don’t think we played extremely well tonight, but I’m extremely happy for our program that we’re going back to Columbus,” Wolfe said. “You can’t win it until you get there.”
Buford freshman Tessa Daniels pitched a complete game for the victory in Game 1 with five strike outs in the pitching circle. She allowed just three hits.
BUFORD 8, NORTH MURRAY 2: Case got on base all five times she came to the plate in the second game.
In the first inning, she reached on a misplayed fly ball to left field and the speedy lead-off hitter made it all the way to third base. She scored on an RBI single from Remington Hasty.
Case added a two-out triple in the second inning, then a two-run triple in the third inning. Her final at bat was a single in the seventh.
Deep and Rebekah Rude each added RBI singles for the Lady Wolves in the second game.
Overstreet was walked all four times she went to the plate in Game 2. For the entire day, Case reached base in eight of nine plate appearances.
Buford freshman Bria Bush picked up the win in the second game with five strike outs. She allowed four hits.
North Murray’s season is now complete.