ALEXANDRIA — Pitching and defense win games, especially in girls high school softball and it was on display here Wednesday evening as the Madison-Grant Lady Argylls picked up a 4-1 Central Indiana Conference win over the host Lady Tigers.
“It’s huge for us, we wanted to come out and start strong in conference,” said Madison-Grant coach Jill Tomaszewski.
The game was close and competitive throughout with neither team leading by more than a run until the seventh inning when Madison-Grant scored two big insurance runs.
Madison-Grant got on the board in the second when Kristin Wilson led off with a double. Bailie Havens moved Wilson to third with a sacrifice bunt and Wilson scored on a groundout by Kayla Martin.
Alexandria tied the game in the bottom of the inning on back-to-back doubles by McKayla Alberts and Kaitlyn Davis. The Lady Tigers missed out on more as Hailee Beeson led off with a single but was thrown out trying to steal second.
Madison-Grant starter Cierra Liddick settled down and struck out Stacie Farmer before Emmy Gaines lined out to left to end the inning. The Lady Argylls regained the lead in the third after Liddick drew a two-out walk and Alie Carson tripled, driving in pinch runner Kennedee Franklin.
The teams traded goose eggs on the scoreboard until the seventh, but Alexandria had a golden opportunity in the fifth inning. With one out, Gaines singled to left field and Mariah Cook drove a Liddick pitch to the fence. Alexandria was trailing 2-1 at that point, but Liddick struck out Taylor Jones looking on a 2-2 pitch after Jones had fouled off three pitches to stay alive.
Hannah Murphy hit a sharp grounder to second to end the inning. Katie Ailes led off the seventh with a single and scored when Liddick hit a double to center. Franklin again came on to pinch run for Liddick and scored the final run on a sacrifice fly by Brenna Turner.