Posted: Thursday, October 18th 2012 at 11:59pm
Softball: Lady Wolves headed back to Columbus
By Jeff Hart Staff
BUFORD – The worst thing that could have happened to Franklin County in its deciding Game 3 against Buford in the second round of the Class AAA girls softball playoffs did: the Lady Lions scored.
Franklin County needed just three batters to take a 1-0 lead over the Lady Wolves, making Buford sophomore right-hander Bria Bush mad. That turned out to be bad news for the Lady Lions.
Bush would not allow another hit the rest of the way sparking the Lady Wolves to a 9-1 win in five innings and a sixth straight trip to Columbus, the first in Class AAA.
“After they got that run I just told myself I would not give up another one. It really got me fired up,” Bush said. "I just knew I could trust my team to get some runs so I just tried to stop it right there."
Buford coach Tony Wolfe said he was proud of how his team responded after losing Game 2 Wednesday and facing their first elimination game in the 2012 playoffs -- region or state.
“We struggled all day Wednesday but the girls really came out focused and ready to play, just like championship teams do,” he said. “We played solid defense, Bria was outstanding in the circle, and we got the big hits when we needed them. It was a great team effort.”
Buford next will take on Jackson in Columbus in the first round of the double-elimination format at the Elite 8.
Game 3 Thursday started different than the first two games, which took several innings for both offenses to breakthrough.
It took just three batters for Franklin County do something they could not do Wednesday against Bush in seven innings: score. Carli Hurtado belted a one-out triple to left-center and then scored on a ground out by Kendsey Chappalear one batter later for a 1-0 lead.
But Buford answered right back in the bottom of the inning. Niki Cook walked to lead off, stole second, and then scored on a single by Jordan Deep to tie the game.
The Lady Wolves then took the lead for good in the third pounding out four straight hits, highlighted by a two-run double from Tessa Daniels, for a 4-1 lead. One inning later, Deep blasted a three-run, opposite-field home run and Daniels followed with a solo shot to highlight a four-run inning to blow the game open.
That was more than enough for Bush. She fanned seven and allowed just two hits in five innings.
Franklin County got solid pitching from Taylor Waldrop and Leigh Beatenbough in the first two games allowing just four runs in 13 innings. But they could not stop the Buford offense on Thursday.
The Lady Wolves roughed up Waldrop for three runs on five hits in two-plus innings and treated Beatenbough just as rough getting six runs on six hits in 2 2/3 innings.
The game ended when Beatenbough hit Remington Hasty with the bases loaded driving in the deciding run.
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