The Buford varsity softball team secured the program’s 20th Elite Eight appearance with a 12-0 win over Milton on Tuesday afternoon in Buford.

Buford’s bats got started early, scoring 10 runs in the bottom of the first inning. Milton’s pitcher Avery Miller had a rocky start walking Buford’s lead-off hitter, Madison Pickens and then Mackenzie Pickens was hit by a pitch. With runners on first and second, Adriana Martinez hit her 11th home run of the season, a three-run bomb making the score 3-0 after only three batters.

Senior Adriana Martinez hits two home runs in the first inning against Milton. Photo by David McGregor.

Two more runs were quickly scored after Caroline Stanton hit a double and was driven in by Addie Rackley’s fourth home run of the season. Tavye Borders hit a single and then quickly stole second base. Borders capitalized off of a double by Kadyn Gabrels to add another run for the Wolves. A double by Izzy Rettiger along with errors by Milton allowed Gabrels and Rettiger to make it across home plate making the score 8-0.

Madison Pickens in her second plate appearance of the inning, ended Miller’s day on the mound for Milton after Pickens was walked.

Milton’s Ali Luciani relieved Miller after Miller had already given up 8 runs in the first inning. Luciani’s second batter she pitched to, Martinez, hit her second home run of the inning making the score 10-0. Luciani ended Buford’s reign of terror in the bottom of the first by striking out Stanton to end the inning.

The Eagles’ only hit of the game came in the top of the second inning when Carrie Lillard hit a double.

The Wolves would add two additional runs in the bottom of the second inning. Gabrels hit a solo home run up the middle. A double by Gower and a single by Rettiger was enough to bring Gower home for Buford’s final score of the game.

Addie Rackley, seen here pitching at Mill Creek, records the win over Milton on Tuesday, October 17, 2023. Photo by Jody Jenkins.

Rackley quickly struck out all three Milton batters in the third inning. Martinez would make it on base with a single but she would get caught up in a double play ending Buford’s scoring chances in their half of the third inning. After two strikeouts and a ground out in the top of the fourth inning, the game was called due to the run rule.

Rackley (7-0) recorded the win having pitched her fifth complete game and fourth shutout of the season. She only gave up one hit, no runs or walks while striking out eight.

Offensive standouts for Buford were Martinez (3-for-3, three-run home run, two-run home run, five RBIs, two runs scored), Gabrels (2-for-2, solo home run, double, two RBIs, two runs scored), Rettiger (2-for-2, double, two RBIs, one run scored) and Rackley (1-for-2, two-run home run, two RBIs, one run scored).

Buford’s overall season record improved to 28-0.

The Wolves are headed to the Elite Eight tournament in Columbus at the South Commons Softball Complex and will have their first game on Wednesday, October 25. Opponent and time is TBD.

Featured photo: The Buford varsity softball team is Elite Eight-bound after defeating Milton on Tuesday, October 17, 2023. Photo by Jody Jenkins.

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