In a season of some oh-so-close losses, another one-run setback has, at the very least, delayed Madison County from qualifying for the state tournament.
Madison County is still one win shy of securing one of the four spots out of the region to state after losing to Loganville 1-0 Tuesday afternoon.
Six of the Raiders’ eight losses have come by just one run this year.
With Wednesday and Thursday's games rained out, Madison County’s season comes down to a Friday match-up with Habersham Central at 4 p.m. A win would propel the Raiders to the state sectionals. A loss ends their season with a 20-9 record.
The Raiders (20-8) nearly got it done Tuesday, opening the region tournament with an 8-0 win over Rockdale County and then nearly knocking off Loganville, the no. 1 seed on the other side of the region.
Kesler said his squad just ran into a good team in the second round. “They were just able to score that one run,” Kesler said. “We had a couple of opportunities, but we weren’t able to get our bunts down which hurt us. We saw a good pitcher. The girls played hard.”
The Red Devils plated a run in the first and made that score stand up behind a three-hit shutout performance by starter Katy Lewis.
Katie Bolin had two hits and Haley Peeples had the other for the Raiders.
Madison County starter Megan Kesler was nearly as dominant, giving up just five hits and the one run in a complete game start. She walked two and struck out six.
Madison County threatened with two runners on and just one out in the top of the fourth but left those runners stranded.
Hours earlier, the Raiders drilled Rockdale County, 8-0, in just five innings to earn their 20th win of the season.
“We came out and did what we were supposed to do in that game,” Kesler said. “We felt like we had a little momentum heading into the Loganville game.”
Bolin and Duncan led Madison County with two hits and two RBIs. Sam LaZear also had a pair of hits and an RBI. Peeples had two hits as well. Megan Kesler also had a hit and an RBI.
NOTES: Rained out games from the past two days will be played at the same times on Friday (Madison County will play at 4 p.m.). Saturday games will then be at 10 a.m., noon and, if needed, at 2 p.m.