The 2023 GHSA Class AAAAAAA State Champions. Photo courtesy of Jody Jenkins.

Five Buford High School seniors lead the varsity softball team to repeat as the GHSA Class AAAAAAA Softball State Champions after defeating East Coweta 9-1 on Saturday, October 28 in Columbus.

Senior pitcher Emma Grace Williams was again the go-to pitcher in the final game in Columbus. She was the winning pitcher in last year’s championship game and like last year, she faced East Coweta.

Buford head coach Trent Adams celebrates one of the two home runs Adriana Martinez hits during the state title game. Photo by Jody Jenkins.

Williams made quick work of East Coweta in the first inning and then turned over the work to Buford’s batters. Fellow senior Adriana Martinez drove in herself and senior Mackenzie Pickens, putting the Wolves on the board 2-0 going into the second inning.

East Coweta’s Jada Savage got the Indians’ only run of the game with a solo home run in the top of the second inning, cutting Buford’s lead in half.

In the bottom of the second inning, Martinez hit her second home run of the game, a solo shot over the centerfield wall. The score after the second inning was Buford up 3-1.

The Wolves would add two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The first run came from a solo home run by Mackenzie Pickens. Martinez was driven home by a single from senior Tavye Borders.

Senior Madison Pickens hits her 20th home run of the season against East Coweta. Photo by Jody Jenkins.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, junior Izzy Rettiger led off with a single hit and after Madison Pickens added Buford’s fourth home run of the day, the Wolves were up two more runs. Mackenzie Pickens closed out the game with her second home run of the game. The game was called due to the run rule and Buford bested East Coweta 9-1 to claim the program’s 12th state title since the program began in 2002.

Buford’s varsity softball team celebrates Mackenzie Pickens’ game-ending home run. Photo by Jody Jenkins.

Williams got her 10th win and her ninth complete game of the season. She pitched for five innings giving up five hits, one earned run and two walks while striking out three.

Offensive standouts for the Wolves in the championship game were Martinez (3-for-3, two-run home run, solo home run, double, three RBIs, three runs scored), Mackenzie Pickens (3-for-3, two solo home runs, two RBIs, three runs scored), Madison Pickens (two-run home run, two RBIs, one run scored) and sophomore Caroline Stanton (2-for-2, double, one run scored).

The Wolves celebrate defending their state title on Saturday, October 28, 2023. Photo by Jody Jenkins.

The Wolves ended the 2023 season undefeated with an overall record of 32-0 which is a program record and back-to-back state champions. Twenty of the 32 wins were shutout victories. Madison Pickens was the season’s home run leader with 20 home runs hit during the 2023 season. Her sister, Mackenzie Pickens is the program’s all-time home run leader.

RELATED: Buford advances to state championship game with win over East Coweta

Featured photo: Buford repeats as the GHSA Class AAAAAAA State Champions with a win over East Coweta on Saturday, October 28, 2023, in Columbus. Photo by Jody Jenkins.

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