Buford on top again as GHSA season closes in Columbus, seven other champions crowned

Buford’s 9-1 victory over East Coweta in the Class 7A championship game gave the program its 11th state title and first since 2016 while bringing the GHSA State Fast Pitch Softball Tournament to a close Saturday in Columbus.

Buford defeated Parkview 9-1, East Coweta 2-1, North Gwinnett 3-1 and East Coweta in the title game. East Coweta – which won titles in 2017, 2018 and 2020 – was trying for its fourth championship. Buford won its first state championship in 2007 and won each season through 2016, that’s 10 straight. But the Wolves had not won a championship in the state’s highest class until now.

Pope won its third state title with a flawless run through the Class 6A bracket and capped the run with a 6-3 victory over Apalachee in the title game. Pope beat Effingham County 8-0, River Ridge 4-2 and then Apalachee 4-0 before the title series.

In Class 5A, Northside-Columbus won its second title (2017) after beating Harris County 4-0. Northside’s run to the title went through Northside-Columbus 8-0, Loganville 8-4, Northside-Columbus 13-0 and Harris County.

In Class 4A, West Laurens captured the program’s first-ever title after beating Whitewater 2-1 in the ‘if game’, which spoiled Whitewater’s improbable run through the loser’s bracket. The Wildcats lost to Walnut Grove 2-1 in the opening round and then beat Heritage-Catoosa 8-0, East Forsyth 8-0, Islands 9-0, Central-Carroll 3-0 and West Laurens 2-1 to force the ‘if game’.

Wesleyan won its fourth title and successfully defended last season’s championship, this time in Class 3A, after beating Jackson 3-1 in the title game. Wesleyan won Class A Private titles in 2017, 2018 and 2021 before reclassifying to 3A.

In Class 2A, Jeff Davis claimed the team’s first-ever title after beating Mount Paran 4-2 in the title game. Jeff Davis beat ELCA 3-2, Appling County 5-0, and Mount Paran 3-0 before the title victory.

In Class A Division 1, Heard County beat Social Circle 3-2 to capture its fourth title and third-straight championship. Heard County beat Social Circle 8-1, Mount Vernon 5-1, Pepperell 9-1 and Social Circle to win the title.

Emanuel County Institute beat Lanier County 1-0 to force an ‘if game’ and then captured the team’s first  title with a 4-0 victory against Lanier County. ECI lost to Lanier in the winner’s bracket final and then beat Georgia Military 7-2 to earn a berth in the championship.


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