BUFORD - The new scoreboard at Buford's softball field didn't work Thursday night and neither did the hosts' bats for the first three innings.
Greater Atlanta Christian pitcher Sarah Armstrong cruised through the two-time defending Class AA state champions' lineup, and had an RBI triple to take 1-0 lead through three innings.
The No. 1 Wolves' second pass through the lineup brought much different results. They scored five runs in the fourth inning - plenty for winning pitcher Karly Fullem (6-1) and reliever Melissa Dickie, who threw the final three innings - and coasted to a 7-1 Region 6-AA victory.
"We got off to a slow start and I don't know if that was a product of playing three straight days or coming off playing at Georgia Tech at night," Buford head coach Tony Wolfe said. "We did start slow, but we were able to get it going in the fourth (inning). Those two girls at the top of the order are a handful. Once they get on base, they create a lot of havoc."
Those two girls were the two top batters in Buford's lineup, Chelsie Thomas and Kallie Case. Thomas led off the fourth with a single and Case walked, setting up Alysha Rudnik and Alexis Overstreet for back-to-back RBI singles.
GAC (5-6) made three errors later in the inning, tacking on three more runs for Buford (12-3, 2-0).
Rudnik, a Georgia Tech commitment, then blasted her fifth homer of the season to straight away center field, driving in Thomas (2-for-3, two runs, two stolen bases). Rudnik also was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs.
The Wolves are just beginning region play, but it's a nice start for a team whose only losses this season are to teams from larger classifications (Marist, Collins Hill and Brookwood).
"We're getting a lot better," Wolfe said.
GAC got three hits off the tandem of Fullem (four innings, two hits, one unearned run, five strikeouts, no walks) and Dickie (three innings, one hit, no runs, two strikeouts, no walks). The only damaging blow was the first-inning triple by Armstrong that reached the right-field wall.