BUFORD — Abbi Perkins and her Buford teammates batted their way to a sweep of East Paulding in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs on Monday.
Perkins powered a 21-10 Game 2 win, going 4-for-4 with the first grand slam home run of her career, three doubles and seven RBIs. The nightcap lasted just five innings.
In Game 1, Buford won 8-0 in six innings with a two-run double from Mackenzie Pickens in the sixth stopping the game by the run rule. The big play of the opener was a two-run home run by Adrianna Martinez (the first homer of her high school career) that fueled a four-run, fourth inning.
Pickens finished 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles, two RBIs and a run in Game 1, while Emma Castorri (3-for-3, three doubles, RBI, two runs) and Shamya Young (2-for-3, RBI, run) also had big games.
Olivia Duncan (10-1) pitched a six-inning shutout in the opener with seven strikeouts and no walks. She allowed four hits.
In Game 2, Perkins led a 19-hit hit attack that also featured major contributions from Taylor Malvin (3-for-4, triple, four RBIs, four runs), Chloe Hatcher (2-for-4, two doubles, two RBIs, three runs) and Tavye Borders (2-for-3, RBI, two runs, stolen base).
Emma Grace Williams (11-1) pitched 3 1/3 innings to get the win, allowing nine hits and nine runs (eight earned). Riley Reese pitched the final 1 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and a walk. She allowed one hit and one earned run.
The Region 8-AAAAAA champion Wolves (28-4) now host River Ridge in a second-round series beginning Thursday.
DACULA — Dacula is headed to Game 3 in its Class AAAAAA state softball tournament first-round series with South Paulding.
The Falcons dropped Game 1 to the visitors 2-0 on Monday, but rebounded for a convincing 14-3 victory in the nightcap. Game 3 is 6 p.m. Tuesday at Dacula.
The Dacula offense struggled in the series opener and never scored for pitcher Sydney Boulware, who struck out 13 in a complete game.
The Falcons made up for it in Game 2 with 14 runs behind big nights from Olivia Howard (4-for-4, RBI), Emily Digby (home run, four RBIs), Emily Stern (two RBIs) and Maia Mumpfield (two RBIs).