The GHSA State Softball Tournament took place this past Thursday through Saturday, October 25-27, 2018 in Columbus, GA.  Both Buford and North Gwinnett softball teams earned a spot in the state tournament. This was Buford’s 14th straight appearance in Columbus. North Gwinnett was happy to make an appearance this year after they failed to make it to the Elite Eight in 2017.


Buford — During the regular season, Buford (Class AAAAA) had an overall record of 19-12.  The Lady Wolves had a rollercoaster of a season and their time in Columbus was a mirror of the season.  Consistency has been a major problem for Buford.

Buford’s Ansleigh Hollifield Photo Credit: Alicia Couch Payne


On Thursday the Lady Wolves failed to get past the opening round of the tournament against Locust Grove.  While Buford’s Ansleigh Hollifield had a solid performance, Locust Grove’s Brooke McCubbin proved too much.  Locust Grove’s 2-0 win sent the Lady Wolves to the loser’s bracket.


Buford rallied on Friday with their shutout against Villa Rica 14-0.  Kaitlyn Pickens pitched for three innings while Amanda Veal pitched the fourth and final inning.  Hannah Morgan lead the way offensively for the Lady Wolves. The second game that Buford played on Friday was a do or die against South Effingham.  Buford rallied after being down four runs to win against South Effingham 10-8.


The Lady Wolves suffered their fourth loss to Loganville this year in the Class AAAAA elimination game.  Although Buford managed to pull within striking distance, ultimately Loganville brought home the win with a final score of 10-9.  It was a tough loss as Mariah Wicker, Shea Bayreuther, and Kara Taylor had solid performances.


North Gwinnett — In an extra inning nail biter, North Gwinnett (22-4) pulls off the win over Hillgrove 2-1 in Thursday’s AAAAAAA opening round.  Chandler Dennis was not only the winning pitcher for North but also provided the game-winning solo home run.


The Lady Bulldogs first game on Friday against Lassiter resulted in a 2-0 loss.  In North Gwinnett’s second game for the day, the Lady Bulldogs managed to beat Grayson 1-0.  In their game against Grayson, North’s long point came as a result of a clutch RBI single in the sixth inning from Addie Winkelman.  Chandler Dennis came through for North on the mound as kept the Rams from earning a run.


North’s win over Grayson on Friday set them on a collision course with fellow Gwinnett AAAAAAA powerhouse, Mill Creek on Saturday.  The Lady Bulldogs just could not build enough momentum to edge past Mill Creek. Their season came to an end with a 3-1 loss to the Lady Hawks.

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