The first-place aspirations have ended, but the Raiders hope they’ve reserved their best softball postseason play.
Madison County, winners of five of its last six games, looks to lock up a no. 2 seed for the region tournament that starts Oct. 7 at the Madison County Rec Department.
If the Raiders (17-7, 5-3) — who routed region lightweight Cedar Shoals 14-0 Tuesday in their most recent action — win their remaining two region games, they’ll finish second in the subregion. That will mean likely facing Rockdale County in the opening round of the postseason.
A 2-1 loss to Apalachee back on Sept. 18 basically ended any shot Madison County had of entering that tournament as a no. 1 seed. Apalachee scored twice in the bottom of the fourth in that game to take the win and sweep the season series against Madison County. Still, something constructive was taken from the loss.
“Even though we lost to Apalachee, we gained some confidence … we hit that girl (Apalachee’s pitcher) pretty good,” Kesler said.
Madison County got back on track after that setback during its annual trip to the Morgan County tournament. It won four of five games in the weekend event, with the only loss coming to region foe Heritage.
Kesler said posting a 4-1 mark in tournament play (beating Washington Wilkes, Newton County, Franklin County and Gilmer County, see box scores) was probably good for morale following the loss to Apalachee – even though the team was disappointed with losing to Heritage in extra innings.
“Hopefully, it helps us in the long run,” Kesler said of the tournament.
From the mound, Megan Kesler threw a run-rule shortened perfect game against Washington-Wilkes — facing just 15 hitters — and won two other starts.
Kesler said Sara Smith, “had a great tournament,” going 2-for-4 and hitting a three-run homer in Madison County’s 16-8 win over Gilmer County. Smith also picked up a victory from the mound against Newton County.
Offensively, the coach noted that Haley Peeples had a .533 average for the tournament and a .625 on-base average. Sam LaZear and Heather Echols also reached base often with OBA’s of .615 and .474, respectively, for the tournament.