Bison junior Chelsey Parkins fired a two-hit shutout with nine strikeouts against Moorefield later Wednesday, and Burdette came back in Thursday's championship round facing a determined Moorefield squad with a nine-hitter and stranded 10 runners.
"Three runs to win a state championship? Has it ever happened before? I don't think so,'' said Buffalo coach Darrell Moore, who didn't have a senior in the starting lineup. "These [state tournament] teams will be back. We'll play a little tougher schedule next year.''
If there was one area to nitpick about the Bison's performance, it was the fact that Buffalo only managed 13 hits in the three games.
"We've got a couple of kids coming in [and] the JV program is going to be stronger,'' he said. "I think we'll be hitting the ball a little better next year. The middle part of our order is just so young. They just don't know what it's all about yet. Our top of the order was carrying us.''
Parkins said three titles in a row elevate Buffalo's program to new heights that even the highly successful Bison have never experienced.
"It means a lot for the program,'' she said. "It's starting to become a huge program. More kids are going to want to come to Buffalo. The whole community will rise up.''
Moorefield, which finished state runner-up the second year in a row, will graduate six seniors while Central, which has won the most championships of any team in any class with nine, loses four seniors.
Wayne, which won its second AA title in a row Thursday, is primed for a three-peat. The Pioneers graduate Jessica Watts (shortstop) and Tasha Maynard (first base), but every other position player is back, including all-tournament pick Jessie Rowe (pitcher).
Ritchie County, which finished the regular season No. 1 in AA, had a frustrating tourney, getting bounced by James Monroe in Thursday's elimination round 2-1 in eight innings. The Rebels, though, bring back their top two players.
James Monroe, which was at states for the first time in 16 years, made a name for itself by marching to the title game before falling to Wayne 5-1. The Mavericks were crushed 14-1 by the Pioneers in their last game Wednesday night, but upset Ritchie on Thursday morning to move on. James Monroe loses pitcher Mikayla Wickline, who had 39 strikeouts in three games with a high of 17.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.