Coming off its first loss of the year, a 7-1 defeat on the road against Turner Ashby, the Madison County softball team bounced back and served up that very same score to former Bull Run District rival William Monroe on Tuesday evening.
“It’s the name of the game, we came out and tried to put some pressure on them and make them make plays,” said Mountaineers coach Jesse Yowell. “We had good character against TA but its about coming out in the next game and forgetting about it. You can’t change the past, all you can change is your future.”
It was a close game the first three innings but with Madison blowing up offensively in the fourth , the Mountaineers were able to avoid grinding out a close one where they faced some adversity with starter Emily Seale getting dinged up on her throwing hand on a laser comebacker up the middle in the third inning.
“That was a little scary at first when she got hit so I just changed pitchers because I didn’t want anything getting worse for her,” Yowell said. “She’ll be okay and the team rallied behind her, there’s good comradery there and that’s what you expect because this just a good group of girls all around.”
While Seale gave up just two hits and threw 29 pitches, Madison played it safe and gave the ball to its other starting pitcher, Logyn Estes. The senior came in relief and gave up just two hits while striking out seven to pick up the win.
Monroe was able to draw first blood to open up the game with Jessica Ford coming up with a leadoff single. After a bunt, Ford was able to move from first the third and with Emma Pickett delivering a sacrifice fly to right field, the Dragons took a 1-0 lead.
Madison answered immediately in the bottom of the first. Estes led things off with a single before stealing second base. Cassie Smith moved her to third on sac-fly. Then Bailey Smith came up with the first of her three RBI on the night with a ground ball to through second to score Estes.
“My first at bat, there was a runner on third and I knew I had to score her so I tried to hit it to the right side,” Smith said.
Things stayed at 1-1 until the bottom of the third. Madison got a double from Cassie Smith followed by an RBI single from Bailey Smith to make it 2-1, both hits coming with two outs on the board.
Monroe pitcher Emma Pickett was able to get out of a bases loaded jam to close the third without further damage by inducing a fielder’s choice.
“We’ve been struggling a bit lately but we’ll come back you could see tonight we were aggresive at the plate but our defense just needs show up a little better,” said Monro coach Greg Breeden. “Emma did a commendable job pitching we just have to find those ways to win and we’re working on that. When this team gets Lacey Beale back (from injury) that will make a difference but really its about finding those ways to win.”
In the fourth, Madison was able to break through with a 4-run rally. It started with a leadoff double from Kaylan Boone. Two batters later, Morgan Clark shot an RBI single to centerfield. With the bases loaded, Bailey Smith came up clutch again on a hard ball deep to center that wound up being a sacrifice fly. Abby Tanner was then able to score from third on an error to make it 6-1 heading to the fifth.
The Mountaineers tagged on an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth with Clark leading the inning off with a single and Estes following that up with an RBI single to make it 7-1.
“We were really just trying to put (the TA) loss behind us and gain energy from that,” Bailey Smith said. “Today — Greene is a our rival —so it was we’re going to come out with a ton of energy and just beat them.”
For Monroe, Ford finished 1-for-2 with a walk and run scored. Katie Beale was 2-for-3.
“Madison just has our number right now,” Breeden said. “When we play well they play better. When they play bad, we play just a little bit worse — they just find a way to be better than our bad. But the team is getting better and we’re getting ready to make some noise.”
Estes and Clark both finished 2-for-3 with an RBI each for Madison at the plate. Bailey Smith was 2-for-4 with three RBI.
Monroe hosts Manassas Park while Madison travels to Central Woodstock, both on Friday.