Buford softball wins 6-AA crown
Region forfeits title to Wolves

Longtime Buford coach Tony Wolfe, who heads up both the school's baseball and softball programs, won his fifth region championship on Wednesday.

But it was his first championship via e-mail.

The top-ranked Wolves won Tuesday night in the Region 6-AA tournament, sending them into Thursday night's championship game. Or so they thought.

Instead Wolfe got e-mails from Blessed Trinity coach Jan Podhorez, the 6-AA softball representative, and region secretary Rusty Hudson notifying him of his team's first-place finish.

"I was really surprised, I'm not really sure how it happened," Wolfe said. "It just said Blessed Trinity, GAC and Lovett agreed to make (Buford) the No. 1 seed (for next week's sectionals) and then play out the rest of the tournament for the 2, 3 and 4 seeds. It's kind of strange.

"I think more than anything it was driven by time, trying to get this tournament in with the weather. I guess it's one, possibly two less games by doing this."

So Wolfe's second region softball title (and just Buford's third-ever) wasn't won on the field. It was on the computer screen.

It was unlike anything that Wolfe or longtime Buford athletic director Dexter Wood could ever recall.

"Coach Wood was telling me in all his years of high school he's never heard of anything like this, maybe later in the weekend when it was Friday and Saturday when you're trying to get it in, but not this early," Wolfe said. "But we feel like we did some things along the way where we certainly don't feel like we backed into it. I don't think our kids knew how to react. It's not like you walk out onto the field and get your trophy."

Now Buford (17-4) will be lacking a few more games in an already rain-shortened season. But it does give them a jump on this weekend's four-day break from school when many players had recruiting trips and SAT testing planned.

Then it's back to action Tuesday, when the Wolves host the first round of the Class AA state sectionals. They will enter those playoffs as state title favorites again, having won the past two state championships in AA.

Georgia Tech-bound Alysha Rudnik (.450 average, seven home runs) is having another big-time season, but so are plenty of other Wolves, including standout pitchers Melissa Dickie and Karly Fullem (who also is hitting .340).

Chelsie Thomas is hitting .407 with 20 stolen bases in 21 attempts, Lexi Overstreet is batting .390 with 25 RBIs and Kallie Case is hitting .370 while playing a steady shortstop, a position she never played before this season.

"We can put nine good players on the field every game and also two pitchers who give us a chance to win every time out," Wolfe said.