The Madison Junior All-Star Softball Team returned to the Little League Tournament hosted by Caroline County July 6. After winning the district tournament against Louisa, Madison earned a trip to the Virginia State Tournament.
“We played a tough Louisa team to earn our spot this year, which helped us get ready for the competition we would face in Caroline,” coach John Jenkins said.
Meaghan Dean pitched well in the first game against Louisa, but it was her offense that was the deciding factor in a 7-6 win. Dean went three for three with two home runs and a double along with the game winning run in the bottom of the seventh. Aliyah Aylor and Kylie Jenkins also helped the attack with two hits apiece. The defense was anchored by Lindsay Shifflett and Breanna McPeak, making huge catches in the outfield to stall any Louisa rally. In the second game against Louisa Liz Brockman stole the show giving up no runs while striking out 10 and only allowing four hits. Madison won game two against Louisa 5-0.
Madison’s first game at the state tournament was against Ridgeview, a combined three league team from Southwest Virginia. Meaghan Dean pitched seven strong innings, striking out seven and only allowing three earned runs on eight hits. The offense was powered by Aliyah Aylor and Breanna McPeak who each had two hits. Madison came up a little short in the 5-2 loss.
“We played well for our first game,” coach Jenkins said. “I could tell the girls were a little nervous but they fought hard.”
The second game pitted Madison against Western Branch. Liz Brockman scored twice and Kylie Jenkins scored three runs to power the offense. Meaghan Dean got the win pitching seven innings giving up six runs and eight hits while striking out 11.
In game three, Madison would go up against Mathews and was looking for a little revenge from a prior year loss. Madison’s offense showed up for the rematch. Mackenzie Aylor, Lindsay Shifflett and Raelyn Soulsby all had huge hits for the Madison squad and Aliyah Aylor, Liz Brockman and Meaghan Dean all scored twice. Brockman and Dean combined to strikeout 10 and pitched seven strong innings.
“This was a team effort up and down our lineup,” coach Jenkins said.
Taylor Clark and Kendall Soulsby helped to keep the outfield locked down on the defensive side. Dallis Miles also had a huge day catching both games of the double header and all the while turning 15 years old on her birthday. Madison would give her a nice present pulling off the win 9-7.
In game four, Madison would go up against Ridgeview again. Kylie Jenkins, Aliyah Aylor, Meaghan Dean and Mackenzie Aylor would all collect hits.
“We went into this game with the mindset of swinging the bats, even though we only had one strikeout we were just not able to string many hits back-to-back and put the pressure on Ridgeview,” coach Jenkins said.
Madison fell 12-0.
“Our girls played hard for three days and gave it their all,” coach Jenkins said. “I could not be prouder or this group of young ladies. They are just starting to realize how good they are and how good they can be. I keep telling them, Madison has a tradition of winning in softball and it’s up to them to keep the torch burning.”
The Madison Junior Team finished up the tournament placing third in the state. Helping out the team this year was assistant coach David Dean. A special thanks to Crystal and Brooks Aylor; Andrew Soulsby; Matt Clark; Chester McPeak; Curt Aylor; Mike, Meadow and Summer Anderson; and Sam Breeden. Also a special thanks to all the families who helped to cheer their team on.