Back in the saddle: Madison softball headed back to state final four after three-year drought

It’s been three years since Madison County’s softball team has played in the state tournament. None of this crop of Mountaineers have been this far and so with a Group 2A final four bid on the line on the road at Nottoway, Wednesday’s Region 2A East semifinal had a lot riding on it. So the Mountaineers and Cougars decided to take their time deciding an outcome. It took 12 innings to get a winner, but thanks to a rally in the 12th after a long, long drought of baserunners, Madison County was able to come up with a 2-0 win to earn their long-coveted state bid.


The Mountaineers had gone three straight innings of three up and three down before stringing together the game winning rally. Add to that, Nottoway pitcher Hannah Hudson retired 14 straight batters after a 1-out Kara Price single in the seventh.


But in the top of the 12th inning, Carrington Frazier drew a 1-out walk. Then Logyn Estes singled. Frazier took third base and Estes on an error shortly thereafter. That set up an RBI sacrifice bunt by Price. In the next at bat, Sophie Adams reached on error to drive in Estes.


Estes threw the last eight innings for Madison and wrapped up the win with a pair of groundouts and a pop fly. The hard work came earlier where the junior escaped a trio of troubles. Estes worked out of a jam in the 10th after a leadoff single followed by a pair of sacrifice bunts followed by an inning ending strikeout. In the ninth, an error and a stolen base put Nottoway in business with a runner at third but Estes got out of that with a line out and ground out. The Cougars had a pair of runners on base in the fifth but Estes got a double play from her defense to end that. Estes finished with four strikeouts to just one walk and three hits.


Before that, Emily Seale threw the first four innings for the Mountaineers. She allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out a pair.


For Nottoway, Hudson threw all twelve innings and struck out eight batters while giving up six hits and two walks on 141 pitches.


The win propels Madison to the Group 2A final four for the first time since 2013 where the Mountaineers finished state runner up to Honaker. Madison will host Goochland on Friday for the Region 2A East championship which will determine seeding for next week’s state tournament.