Buford has secured another Final Four appearance after defeating Mill Creek 12-4 in five innings on Thursday, October 26 at the South Commons Softball Complex in Columbus.

Mill Creek was up 2-0 over Buford after Ronnie Wade and Aria Davis both scored a run during the top of the first inning but the Wolves quickly rallied to overcome the deficit. Senior Madison Pickens hit her 18th home run of the season, a solo shot to center field. Senior Adriana Martinez and sophomore Caroline Stanton were driven home by a three-run home run to right-center field from sophomore Kadyn Gabrels. That was her fourth home run of the year. The Wolves ended the first inning up 4-2 over the Hawks.

In the second inning, Mill Creek’s Alaina Lyons added another run for the Hawks but it wasn’t enough to take the lead back from Buford.

The Wolves posted two runs in their half of the second inning. Junior Kylie Gower hit a single and stole second base. She was driven home by a single from Madison Pickens, a sacrifice fly by Martinez and a Mill Creek error. That sacrifice fly and error was enough to allow Madison Pickens to add Buford’s sixth run of the game.

The fourth and final run of the game scored by Mill Creek came in the top of the third inning when Ava Brookshire was driven in by a sacrifice fly from Kenzie Fitch.

In the bottom of the third inning, senior Tavye Borders hit a double, sophomore Summer Castorri was walked and Gower hit a single. With bases loaded, Mill Creek’s pitcher Kenzie Fitch walked junior Izzy Rettiger which drove Borders home to add Buford’s seventh run of the game. Singles from both Madison and Mackenzie Pickens were enough for Castorri, Gower and Rettiger to each cross home plate. Buford would end the third inning six runs ahead of Mill Creek.

A pitching change was made by Mill Creek in the bottom of the fourth inning which replaced Fitch with Madison Pena. Buford added their final two runs of the game which came from Borders and Castorri.

Mill Creek was quickly put away in the top of the fifth inning and the game was called due to the run rule with Buford claiming a 12-4 victory over the Hawks.

Sophomore Addie Rackley (8-0) recorded the win for the Wolves. In five innings of work, she gave up eight hits, four earned runs, walked one and struck out three batters.

Offensive standouts for Buford were Madison Pickens (3-for-4, solo home run, three RBIs, two runs scored), Gabrels (1-for-3, three-run home run, three RBIs, one run scored), Gower (3-for-3, one RBI, two runs scored, one stolen base) and Borders (2-for-3, double, two runs scored, one stolen base).

Buford will face East Coweta in the Final Four on Friday, October 27 at 5 p.m. The two teams played each other in last year’s championship game.

RELATED: Buford advances in state softball tournament with win over Lowndes

Featured photo: Kadyn Gabrels hit a three-run home run during Buford’s game against Mill Creek in Columbus. Photo courtesy of Buford softball.

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