Madison County took a strong stride out of the gate in the 2011 softball season.
The Raider softball squad downed Buford 8-3 on the road Tuesday night. The Wolves squad has won multiple state titles in recent years. The Raider victory over the perennial power followed a 4-1 showing at the Athens Orthopedic Leadoff Classic.
Raider head coach Doug Kesler said Tuesday’s victory was a “big win” for his program, but he said his team should be able to compete with anyone, so long as they play with effort and discipline. He said his squad was very “business like” in the Buford win, not celebrating or acting like the win was a particularly big deal.
“I tell the girls it doesn’t matter if we’re playing the best or the worst team, if we play like we’re capable of, we can play with anybody,” he said.
Madison County (5-1) was actually just a few steps away from a clean sweep of Leadoff Classic foes.
With her team down by two to Walnut Grove and two runners on base, Raider Randee Bettis blasted a shot to the fence and Madison County fans watched the potential three-run, game-winning homer sail through the air, before falling just short into a Walnut Grove glove. The Raiders fell to the powerful Walnut Grove squad 5-3, Madison County’s only loss at the Leadoff Classic at the Madison County Recreation Department.
Though the dramatic win fell just out of reach, the team opened the 2011 season with four wins in the tournament, downing Morgan County, 15-3; North Oconee, 4-0; Oglethorpe County, 12-0; and Franklin County, 11-7. The Raiders also led Greenbrier 1-0 in a game that was postponed due to inclement weather. That game will be made up later in the year, though no date has been set.
Kesler said he was pleased with his squad’s efforts.
“I thought overall we had a good weekend,” said Kesler. “We had some kids that really had great weekends.”