Heading into the ninth week of the high school softball season, the Buford Wolves varsity softball team remains the top-ranked team in the state across all classifications per MaxPreps and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA). Nationally, Buford is ranked No. 1 by the NFCA and No. 3 by MaxPreps.

The Wolves remain undefeated with 21 wins this season and look even better, statistically speaking, than last year’s GHSA Class AAAAAAA State Champion team. Comparing the two teams at the same point in the season, this year’s team has a batting average of .456 while last year’s team had a batting average of .416. Below are more interesting offensive stats comparing the two teams going into the ninth week of the season.

Offensive Stats2023 BHS V softball team2022 BHS V softball team
Slugging percentage.885.706
On-base percentage.524.493
Number of hits235202
Number of single hits119125
Number of doubles6240
Number of triples310
Number of home runs5127
Number of RBIs198163
Runs scored224178
Number of strikeouts4963
Number of stolen bases7378
Stolen base percentage96.0592.86

Olivia Duncan dominated in the pitcher’s circle for Buford last year. She was named the 2022-23 Georgia Gatorade Softball Player of the Year, as well as, numerous other achievements stemming from her senior season. With the majority of the pitching duties split between her and Emma Grace Williams, Class of 2024, the team’s ERA going into the ninth week of the season was 1.331 with 75 hits and 27 runs (23 earned runs) allowed. 

This season, Williams along with sophomores Caroline Stanton and Addie Rackley have put up impressive numbers thus far for the Wolves with a combined ERA of .500 with 42 hits and 14 runs (eight earned runs) allowed.

Looking ahead, Buford only needs one more region win to clinch their 14th region title since the program began in 2002. They will have two chances this week to achieve that feat, both of which will be on the road. On Tuesday, October 3, the Wolves will play at Mill Creek and on Wednesday, October 4, they will be at Central Gwinnett. Both games begin at 6 p.m.

This will be the second season that the GHSA will hold “Super Regionals,” which determines the eight teams from each classification that will move on to play in the Elite Eight state tournament in Columbus. The top team of each classification’s eight regions will host the two-day event. In Class AAAAAAA, these games are set to begin on Monday, October 16 and will wrap up on Tuesday, October 17.

The Elite Eight state tournament will be held October 25-28 in Columbus to determine the GHSA state champion. 

Featured photo: (L-R) Buford’s Mackenzie Pickens, Emma Grace Williams, Madison Pickens and Caroline Stanton. Photos by Jody Jenkins. Design by Alicia Payne.

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