The Dawson County High School varsity softball season came to an end last week.
The Lady Tigers were bounced from the Class AA state tournament Oct. 13 by #1-ranked Buford, 6-0 and 10-1.
Head Coach Jimmy Pruett said goodbye to three seniors on this year’s team: Katie Pulley, Cheyenne Bennett and Sydney Crumley.
“We will truly miss these three outstanding players,” Pruett said.
Dawson finished the season with a 14-15-1 record. Buford (26-4) advanced to play Dade County.
The Lady Wolves’, defending 4-time state AA champs, offense was unstoppable. The team used 28 hits to score 16 runs in the two games. Buford used two senior pitchers, who will pitch at the college level, to stop the Lady Tiger bats.
In game one, starter Melissa Dickie, a North Georgia College & State University signee, gave up four hits and struck out five to get the complete game win.
Dawson County did load the bases in the fourth inning after a hit and two walks. The next Lady Tiger batter lined a shot to shortstop, who tagged the runner off second for the double play that ended the inning.
The Buford offense broke the game open in the bottom of the fifth inning, putting five runners on base in the inning and getting three of them across the plate against Dawson pitcher Jenna Abbott.
After back-to-back singles from Lexi Overstreet and Katie Fullem, a triple by Kodi Ricketson made the game 4-0. Ricketson, who finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored, was driven in by a Madyson Wynegar (2-for-4) ground ball.
Buford added another run in the bottom of the sixth and Dickie shut down the Dawson County offense 1-2-3 in the seventh to give the Lady Wolves a Game 1 win.
Gracie Hovan was the only Lady Tiger with two hits, going 2-for-3 with a stolen base in the game.
Georgia Tech signee Katie Fullem started the second game for the Lady Wolves.
Fullem was just as impressive, she struck out seven batters in five innings to pick up the win.
The Lady Wolves started the top of the first with back-to-back hits from Chelsie Thomas and Cara Cole. After a ground out by Case, Fullem smacked an RBI single to put Buford on the board first, 1-0.
After Abbott struck out Ricketson, Wynegar stepped to the plate and belted a ball over the right-center fence to make the game 5-0 Buford.
Buford had 16 hits in game 2.
Buford added two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth to earn the five-inning win. Overstreet finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored for Buford.
Kimberly Wallace had the lone RBI on the day for the Lady Tigers and Abbott took both loses from the circle.
Pruett said he was disappointed with the loss, but proud of how the Lady Tigers fought against Buford.
“We played hard,” Pruett said. “We played a really good team, a really good program with a lot of tradition.”
Pruett said he knew that a first-round upset of Buford wouldn’t be easy.
“We knew it was going to be a big challenge coming in,” Pruett said. “We played well for five innings of the first game and they just started hitting the ball.
“We knew they were a great hitting team.”
Pruett said that the big five-run first inning in game two “kind of took the wind out of our sails a little bit.”
“We felt like we could’ve gotten out of that inning 0-0,” Pruett said. “But they took advantage of our mistake and that’s what good teams do.”
DCN regional staff James Wolfe contributed to this story.