Madison County Middle School might have switched to a new building this year.
But the results on the softball field didn’t change.
The Mustangs have the best softball program in the region and staked claimed to that status once again with another NEGIAA championship. Madison County Middle School (13-1, 11-1) won its third-straight region softball title, prevailing in a 1-0 thriller over Franklin County Friday on the campus of Hart County High School.
This game wasn’t for the faint of heart.
With the game tied 0-0 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Abby Morgan led off with a single and moved to second on a single by Annabeth Pruett, who enjoyed a 3-for-4 day with two doubles.
Haley Andrews then drilled a shot to third and Franklin County’s third baseman threw wildly to first. That allowed Morgan to score the game-winning run.
Ball game. Championship.
“It was one of the most grueling and heart-stopping games that I have ever coached,” coach David Kendrick said.
Kendrick said Hart County Middle School athletic director Robbie Wilson called the contest, “best game that he had seen played in years.”
In this pressure-cooker, Madison County received another big-time start from Gabriel Gillespie, who was pitching in the region title game for the second-straight year.
One again, she hurled a shutout, working seven innings, allowing two hits and one walk while striking out seven.
Madison County advanced to the championship game by drilling Hart County 10-5 in the semifinals.
Morgan Carey pitched and went the distance, giving up only one earned run, walking none and striking out 10 to propel the Mustangs into their third straight championship game.
Brittany Smith and Abby Morgan each drove in two runs to lead the hitting parade into the NEGIAA finals.
This year’s three-peat included a number of highlights.
The Mustangs’ 13-1 record was the program’s best in recent history.
Included in those 13 victories were two over Malcom Bridge, the first time in years MCMS has pulled off a sweep over its rivals.