Madison County had a back-to-back innings to start with a leadoff runner, but Orange County picked them both off. When the leadoff batter reached base for a third time, the Mountaineers came through and took a solid lead over the Hornets thanks to a big hit from Lauren Seale. Also the pitcher, Seale needed little else as she struck out 11 Orange batters to lead Madison to a 5-1, the team’s second straight against one of its closest rivals.
“We left a few too many on base but we did well otherwise and the pitching was good,” said Mountaineers coach Jesse Yowell. “After the game we talked about getting more hits with two outs and runners in scoring position. We’re going to need to be more efficient. But Orange, that’s a (Group AAA) school and we’re (Group A) so that’s a real good win.”
Sophomore Kaitlyn Aylor got the third inning off to a strong start with a single for Madison. After Chandler Gentry was hit by a pitch and Casey Racer reached first on a walk to load the bases, Seale to the plate with two outs. Also a sophomore, Seale came through with a single up the middle that scored Aylor and Gentry.
“It feels good to get on base,” Seale said. “And when I do I know that (Anna Kelliher) is going to hit well behind me and she did.”
The senior Kelliher did not disappoint as she followed that up with a single, up the middle of the infield as well to score Racer.
Orange got on the board in the top of the fourth thanks to leadoff single from Aysia Richardson. A stolen base and single from Ashley Williams later set up Brittany Collins who came through with an RBI single. But that would be it in terms of offense minus a Haley Jones double in the sixth.
“I felt like I was throwing pretty well tonight,” Seale said. “My high fastball was getting a lot of them, I guess they liked the high ones tonight.”
Madison on the other hand added a run in the fifth and sixth innings. Seale started the fifth with a single and scored after a groundout from Kelliher and an RBI single from senior catcher Karri Carpenter. A pair of errors followed by a Timberly Deane single scored the Mountaineer’s last insurance run.
For Madison, Seale went 2 for 4 with two RBI and a run scored. Kelliher was 2 for 4 as well with an RBI. Carpenter was 1 for 3 with an RBI. Aylor was 3 for 3 with a run scored.
Richardson was 2 for 3 for the Hornets. Jones, Williams and Collins accounted for Orange’s other three hits. Freshman pitcher Jamie Anderson pitched five innings and struck out seven batters.
“It was a tight game but we just didn’t hit,” said Orange coach John Henry-Ryder. “Anderson threw well and we needed to have that, someone has to step up and help Aysia. (Anderson’s) a ninth grader but she’s going to be a good one for us.”
The Hornets head to Riverbend on Friday.
The Mountaineers host Luray also on Friday.