DOWN AND SAFE: Madison senior Kaitlin Rice smiles (above) after a rough slide back to third base on a pickoff attempt left her with a face full of dust and chalk. The Cubs’ Sarah Johann acknowledges the cheers from the Cubs’ dugout after smacking a double (below) as Switzerland second baseman McKenna Edwards walks away. Madison won the game 5-2. These and other photos can be viewed at www.madisoncourier.com/photos. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
DOWN AND SAFE: Madison senior Kaitlin Rice smiles (above) after a rough slide back to third base on a pickoff attempt left her with a face full of dust and chalk. The Cubs’ Sarah Johann acknowledges the cheers from the Cubs’ dugout after smacking a double (below) as Switzerland second baseman McKenna Edwards walks away. Madison won the game 5-2. These and other photos can be viewed at www.madisoncourier.com/photos. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Madison overcome a bevy of early mistakes to pull away to a 5-2 win over Switzerland County in the Cancer Awareness Night game at Lady Cub Field on Friday.

The Lady Cubs committed three errors in the first two innings which led to one Switzerland County run. But Madison rebounded with error-free ball over the final five innings and pounded out eight hits to pick up the non-conference win.

"That's one thing we've been talking to the girls about: There are going to be innings where things don't go your way," Madison coach Tony Ralston said. "But we've got to go back out there and play the game. We stayed up. We could have folded but we didn't. I'm proud of the girls. We kept battling. We're not there yet but we're getting better."

Switzerland (3-7) scored a run in the top of the first without a hit. Brooke Todd reached on an error, stole second and eventually scored on another error for a 1-0 lead.

But Madison (6-4) answered right away with three runs in the bottom of the first and never trailed again. The Cubs had four hits in the inning off Pacer starter Kelsi Konkle, the big blow an RBI double by Sarah Johann.

Switzerland got a run back in the fourth after Hope Tankersley singled, Vicky Abbott was hit by a pitch and Mallory Phagan hit a run-scoring single to cut the lead to 3-2.

The Pacers had a chance to tie the game in the fifth but shot themselves in the foot with a baserunning mistake. Susie Reyes doubled and Taylar Jordan followed with a single. But Reyes was caught off third base on the play and eventually tagged out.

It was the second baserunning blunder Switzerland made in the game and assistant coach Alan Konkle, who was coaching third, took the blame.

"We're a very young team and baserunning mistakes are going to happen but one of them was my fault," said Konkle, who was running the team in place of head coach Steve Konkle. "We're getting better and we're learning. We just have to get our bats going. Once that happens, we'll be all right."

Madison made the Pacers pay for the mistake with two more runs in the bottom of the fifth to put the game away. Bree Barnes reached on an error and Bri Tingle knocked a one-out triple. Tingle then came in on Annelise Hackney's RBI groundout.

The game featured a matchup of a pair of sophomore starters with Madison's LeAnn Fox winning the dual with Switzerland's Kelsi Konkle, neither of whom walked a batter.

Konkle struck out seven while allowing three earned runs on eight hits in six innings. Fox gave up one earned run on five hits with four strikeouts and two hit batters in five innings. Alexis Wolf allowed three hits in two shutout innings of relief.

"(Konkle) kept us off balance. She did a nice job," Ralston said. "She had our girls out on our front foot. We faced a quality pitcher today ... (Fox) threw well; our defense didn't back her up today. She didn't have 'it' today I thought, but she threw well. I know that might be a little hard on her but we expect a lot out of her."

"(Konkle) hit her spots tonight. The hits that they got were my fault, I was the one calling the pitches," said Alan Konkle. "Madison did a very good job of hitting. Once she settled in I thought she did fine. She's only going to get better."

Seven different players collected hits for Madison in the game, led by Tingle, who was 2-for-3 with the triple, two runs scored and an RBI. Hackney was 1-for-3 with a run, an RBI and a stolen base.

Barnes had a hit, a run scored and two stolen bases, Kaitlin Rice singled and stole a base, and Fox and Wilson added hits.

Tankersley was 2-for-2 with a run scored to lead Switzerland County.

Both teams return to action on Monday. Madison hosts Charlestown while Switzerland hosts Shawe.

Rough 5th inning by Shawe turns close game into rout

A bad fifth inning doomed Shawe softball on Friday as the Hilltoppers fell to Ohio River Valley Conference opponent South Ripley, 16-6 in Versailles.

South Ripley led just 7-6 after four innings but six Shawe errors in the fifth frame staked the Raiders to nine more runs to run away with the win.

Stephanie Snodgrass, Amelia Koehler and Sarah Sanders had two singles each to lead the Hilltopper offense. Gabi Pawlak had a base hit.

Shawe (2-8, 1-6 ORVC) competes in a round robin event today at Providence.