Madison County softball coach Jesse Yowell is so used to seeing Logyn Estes dominate opposing hitters that he doesn’t bat an eye at anything she does on the mound.
Estes, a senior who is a two-time all-state selection, started the season off 3-0 while holding opposing batters to just a .188 average through three starts and two relief appearances.
On Friday night, she did nothing to help homestanding Orange raise that average.
Estes pitched a complete-game three-hitter, striking out seven Hornets in a five-inning 10-0 victory for the Mountaineers.
The win improved Madison’s record to 7-0.
“It’s pretty much a typical effort from Logyn,” Yowell said. “I’ve been splitting the pitching between her and Emily [Seale], with one pitching four innings per game and the other one three, and they’ve both done a great job for us. Emily was feeling a little under the weather tonight though, so I went all the way with Logyn and she delivered.”
Estes allowed singles in the second, third and fourth innings and notched at least one strikeout in every frame. In a particular display of dominance late in the game, she fanned Orange left fielder Alana Shumake and third baseman Reese Rogers to end the fourth, then opened up the fifth by punching out Hornets first baseman Riley Clatterbuck and pinch hitter Haley Pritchett.
For good measure, Estes followed that up by making a diving grab on Samantha Ferguson’s pop-up down the first base line to end the game.
“She’s a competitor,” Yowell said of Estes. “Her will to win goes beyond just being an all-state player. Had the game gone a full seven innings, she’d have gone the distance for us with no questions asked.”
The game didn’t go the full seven innings, thanks in large part to Estes’ offensive contributions to her own cause. She went 3-for-4 with an RBI double, a run scored and a stolen base from her leadoff spot, setting the table for the Mountaineers’ other heavy hitters in the lineup.
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One of those heavy hitters was junior third baseman Seale, who finished 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Another was freshman shortstop Lindsay McDaniel, whose three-run triple in the third turned a slim 2-0 Madison lead into a 5-0 advantage that seemed insurmountable for Orange with Estes on the mound.
McDaniel also scored twice, drew a walk and stole a base.
“We’ve got a very talented team,” Yowell said. “We’re just trying to tighten a few things up as the regular season progresses. It’s all fundamental stuff, like taking the extra base when a relay throw goes through or tagging up and taking a base on a fly ball that’s hit behind you. Those are the things that will make or break you in a one-run game.“
Orange (3-4), which started three freshmen, one sophomore and four juniors, is still learning how to play through the ups and downs that happen over the course of a game, according to head coach Neal Ferguson.
“Sometimes when things don’t go our way, we bring ourselves down,” he said. “That’s what we did tonight. We fell behind and we didn’t do anything to help ourselves after that.”
Shumake, catcher Kennedy Tuel and shortstop Lindsay Slaughter had the Hornets’ three base hits on the night.
Orange pitcher Chloe Kinkopf struggled with control problems, issuing seven walks in addition to allowing nine hits and all 10 Mountaineers runs. The senior righty struck out four.
Yowell said Madison is focused on avenging last season’s Class 2 state quarterfinal loss to King William. The Mountaineers have already beaten defending state champion Page County twice this spring.
“These girls haven’t forgotten what losing in the state quarterfinals last season felt like,” he said. “Our goal is to make it back to states and win it.”
Prior to the game against Orange, Madison beat Luray March 26, 10-6, and Turner Ashby March 27, 3-2. The team was scheduled to host Clarke Tuesday and will travel to Turner Ashby Thursday.