GAINESVILLE -- Buford and East Hall advanced to the Class AAA state tournament after taking a pair of wins Monday on the opening day of the Region 7-AAA tournament at the Lanier Pointe Softball Complex.
Buford beat West Hall 15-2 in the first round and then blanked Banks County 8-0 in second round to advance.
East Hall knocked off North Hall in a 2-1 nail-biter in the first round and then beat White County 9-2 in the second round to advance. It's the first time in team history the Lady Vikings have advanced to the playoffs.
Banks County opened with a win over Fannin County and White County won its first game over Dawson County.
In the loser's bracket, Fannin County beat West Hall to knock out the Lady Spartans. Dawson County was playing North Hall in the other elimination game but no score was reported.
The action will resume Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Lanier Pointe with Fannin County taking on White County in one elimination game. Banks County will play the Dawson County-North Hall winner in the other elimination game.
The Fannin-White and Banks-Dawson-North Hall winners and East Hall and Buford will play each other at 7 p.m.
The finals are slated for Thursday at 4 p.m. with the Championship Round scheduled for 6 p.m.
BUFORD 15, WEST HALL 2
The Lady Wolves exploded for 13 hits in just four innings scoring seven runs in the second and six runs in the third inning on their way to a Mercy-rule shortened game called after four innings. Junior Emily Crocker pitched three innings to earn the win. Crocker surrendered three hits and two runs while fanning six.
BUFORD 8, BANKS COUNTY 0
In their second win, the Lady Wolves banged out 16 hits in a six-inning win. Banks County batters were overmatched by Buford junior hurler Bria Bush, who pitched her ninth complete game and her sixth shutout of the year.
Bush scattered three hits and struck out 10 without issuing a walk to earn the win.