It’s not the conventional road to a subregion title, but the softball Raiders will take it.
With too many subregion games to make up due to recent torrential rain and not enough open dates to conveniently to do it, region coaches have awarded first-place Madison County (17-1, 5-0) the no. 1 seed out of the 8-AAAA North division for the region tournament.
“Obviously, that was one of our goals going into this season was to finish first on our side,” Raider coach Doug Kesler said.
Since not all subregion games could be made up, only results from the first round of subregion games will count. Madison County finished 5-0 in that stretch.
Loganville is the South division no. 1 seed.
It was actually the suggestion of Apalachee’s coach — the Wildcats are second place in 8-AAAA North — that the region go this route.
“It was his suggestion and everybody agreed to it,” Kesler said.
Madison County, which beat everyone in its division, will receive a first-round bye. The no. 1 seed also means that Madison County will stay put for the region tournament.
The region decided prior to the season that the North division champion would have hosting rights to the latter rounds of the region tournament.
“It will be nice to play the region tournament on our field … It’s good for our girls and it’s good for our fans,” Kesler said.
Recent storms washed out or postponed eight consecutive Madison County games, including four subregion contests.
The hiatus started last week when games against Habersham Central (Sept. 15) and Apalachee (Sept. 17) were rained out. Then a tournament at Morgan County was canceled. Madison County was to have played five games in that event, and Kesler said the team needed the experience to work on different things.
“What really hurt was losing the tournament this past weekend,” he said. “We had some good teams and some good pitching that we were going to see.”
The cancellations continued into this week as the Raiders’ Tuesday game with Cedar Shoals was scrapped because water was still on Madison County’s field. Wednesday’s remake at Habersham Central was also axed.
Kesler notes that this is the first time in his 12 years as head coach that rain has wreaked such havoc on the schedule.
“It’s kind of like the spring and baseball season,” he said.
Madison County returns to the field today to face Clarke Central, having not played since Sept. 12 and looking to add to its program-best 17-1 start.
Madison County will make up its home game with Cedar Shoals Monday and Tuesday’s senior night contest with Winder-Barrow will be played as scheduled. Games against Habersham Central and Apalachee, however, won’t be rescheduled.
“I’m just hoping after this layoff that we can get back to the level we were playing at,” Kesler said.
Kesler said there’s the possibility his team could play a double header at Morgan County Sept. 30 — facing the Bulldogs and one other team — to give the Raiders a couple of extra regular season games.