Pictured above: Sophomore Olivia Duncan went 2-for-1 pitching for the Buford Wolves during the Rumble at the Ridge tournament over the weekend. Photo – Alicia Couch Payne
BUFORD — The Buford Wolves softball team kicked off their season as co-hosts of the Rumble at the Ridge tournament. The 2019 Class AAAAAAA state champions Mountain View defeated their hosts 6-1 on Friday afternoon at the Buford softball complex.
The game started off as a pitcher’s duel between the Wolves’ Olivia Duncan and the Bears’ Sarah Currie. Both sides remained scoreless until Bria Finley scored on a Kellie Ervin double in the top of the 5th inning. The Bears would score three more times in the 5th.
Duncan would be relieved by senior Riley Reese in the 6th inning after walking a batter. Sarah Anne Behunin would score for the Bears off of a wild pitch from Reese. Bria Finley would add the last run for Mountain View off of a single by Ervin.
Buford’s only run of the game came in the bottom of the 6th inning as Taylor Malvin scored off of an RBI double from senior Abbi Perkins.
The game ended after the 6th inning due to tournament time limits.
On day two of the Rumble at the Ridge tournament, the Wolves would win both games. During the first game, Buford would beat Parkview 5-3. Lambert would fall to the Wolves 11-4 in the second game.
Duncan would once again take the mound for the Wolves pitching for six innings, giving up 3 runs (one run earned), and striking out six against Parkview.
Buford would kick off the scoring in the top of the 1st inning when Tayve Borders scored off of a Parkview error. Parkview would add two runs in the bottom of the 3rd which were set up by two fielding errors by Buford.
Chloe Hatcher would score off of another Lambert error in the top of the 4th. Mackenzie Pickens and Shamya Young would also add runs for the Wolves in the 4th. Olivia Kotowski would add Parkview’s only run in the 4th.
Senior Alicia Ross would score Buford’s final run of the game off of an RBI triple from Young in the top of the 5th inning.
Game two on Saturday saw sophomore pitcher Chloe Hatcher make her first varsity start for Buford. She pitched four innings before being relieved by freshman Emma Grace Williams who made her varsity debut as well. Hatcher would earn the win and Williams the save against Lambert.
Buford would start the game off with an explosive 1st inning with eight runs scored which forced Lambert to do a pitching change mid-inning. Borders would add the only run of the 2nd inning off of a sacrifice fly by Abby Cochran. Lambert would add four runs in the top of the 3rd while Buford added two more runs in the bottom of the inning.
The game ended after the top of the 5th inning due to time constraints.
Buford’s overall season record is now 2-1. Buford will open region play by hosting Dacula on Tuesday, August 18 at 6 p.m. at the Buford Softball Complex.