Posted: Friday, October 5th 2012 at 2:25am
Softball: Buford holds off Fannin for 7-AAA title
By Jeff Hart Staff
BUFORD -– Despite a new region, it was the same old result for the Buford girls softball team Thursday.
The Class AAA No. 1-ranked Lady Wolves used a three-run second inning to break a scoreless tie and then held on for a 5-3 win over ninth-ranked Fannin County at Lady Wolves Field to win the Region 7-AAA title.
It was the first region title for Buford since 2010 and the first since joining 7-AAA this season. The Lady Wolves will take the No. 1 seed from 7-AAA into next week’s Class AAA state tournament and play host to St. Pius from Region 6-AAA beginning on Wednesday in a best-of-three series.
The Lady Rebels will be the No. 2 seed and play host to Decatur beginning on Wednesday in a best-of-three series. Dawson County, the third seed from 7-AAA, will play 6-AAA runner-up Woodward Academy and Banks County, the fourth seed from 7-AAA, will play 6-AAA champion Blessed Trinity.
Buford is looking for its first Class AAA state title after winning the last five Class AA state titles.
“We look at this time of year kind of like the NCAA basketball,” Buford coach Tony Wolfe said. “Just keep advancing. We did that but I would like to see us get better in some areas.”
Sophomore Bria Bush made it three wins over the Lady Rebels this season surrendering seven hits and fanning four in a complete-game effort. Fannin’s Lauren Hensley took the loss yielding seven hits and striking out four in six innings.
“I was proud of Bria because she didn’t have her best stuff but gave us a chance to win,” Wolfe said. “We’re a little frustrated offensively but got just enough to pull it out.”
Buford extended the lead to 5-0 in the third on a two-run home run by Jordan Deep. The Lady Rebels, however, answered in the fourth.
Josie Millsap knocked in the first Fannin run on a hit batter with the bases loaded and two outs and then Missy Dixon drove in two with a double to center to cut the lead to 5-3. But Dixon was gunned down trying to stretch it into a triple to end the inning.
All three of the Lady Wolves’ run in the second were unearned after a Fannin County throwing error with two outs kept the inning alive. Noah Sudderth had the big hit with a two-run single for a 3-0 lead.
Fannin County coach David Dyer said he too was a little frustrated.
“We gave them three runs and who knows, maybe we win this one,” Dyer said. “But, no one expected us to get this far so we’re very proud of how things have gone. Our goal is to get back to Columbus so we’re going to get ready for next week.”
Fannin County advanced to the championship round with a 5-1 win over fourth-ranked Dawson County behind a complete-game effort from Jace Armstrong. The Lady Rebels broke a scoreless tie in the third with three runs and added single runs in the sixth and seventh after Dawson had cut the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the third.
The Lady Tigers, who came in as the top seed in the region tournament, will be the third seed from 7-AAA.
Fannin County has never won a region title in girls softball and Thursday was the first time in school history the Lady Rebels had ever played for a region title.
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