HAPPY ENDING: Madison’s Kaitlin Brown (top left) gets mobbed by teammates Ashleigh Poling (13), Bree Barnes and Cadie Povaleri (4) after driving in the winning run in the Lady Cubs’ come-from-behind 6-5 win over New Albany on Tuesday. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
HAPPY ENDING: Madison’s Kaitlin Brown (top left) gets mobbed by teammates Ashleigh Poling (13), Bree Barnes and Cadie Povaleri (4) after driving in the winning run in the Lady Cubs’ come-from-behind 6-5 win over New Albany on Tuesday. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Kaitlin Brown took a nasty line drive off her chest in the sixth inning of Tuesday's softball opener at home. An inning later, Brown delivered a big hit of her own.

Brown's RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning capped a three-run rally and lifted Madison to a 6-5 win over New Albany in the Lady Cubs' season opener.

Brown also pitched all seven innings in the circle to pick up the win despite the line drive. The senior was down for several minutes but stayed in the game. But even with the injury, she was all smiles after the win.

"Oh my goodness. I'm a little sore but I'm just so excited," Brown said. "On that last one, I just went up there praying. I was like, 'All right Lord, we've got this.' I just went up. It was a great feeling."

The Cubs (1-0) fell behind twice against New Albany and rallied both times, none more dramatic than the seventh.

Trailing 5-3 entering the final frame, Madison strung together three-straight hits following a one-out error to score the win.

Bree Barnes got the rally started when she reached on an error and Cadie Povaleri followed with an infield single when her pop-up dropped in just behind the pitching rubber in between four Bulldog infielders.

Ashleigh Poling tied the game when her line drive scored Barnes. Povaleri scampered home when center fielder Jenna Fath's throw to the plate went wide and Poling ended up at third.

All that was left was for Brown to win the game - something the tall right-hander did after fouling off three pitches.

"I always do my best at-bats when it's a full count and I'm fouling them off," Brown said. "I knew that if I could get in that position, which I know isn't the best to be in, that I could handle it. I was really excited about the opportunity to just help my team out and come home with the win."

For Madison coach Tony Ralston, watching his team rally in the seventh against a quality opponent was good to see after several rebuilding seasons.

"That right there is all the work we have had for the past two or three years," Ralston said. "We've been learning to be mentally tougher. They have probably heard that from me a thousand times since this summer until now. If we can play and stay focused for seven innings we can be a good ball team."

New Albany (3-1) took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Fath opened the game with a sharp line-drive to center that hit the lip of the infield and bounced over center fielder Povaleri's head for a gift triple. She then came in on Hannah Veit's ground out.

Madison came right back with two runs in the bottom of the first. Povaleri singled, Poling reached on a fielder's choice and Brown singled to load the bases before Hannah Bickers knocked in one run with a single and Poling scored on Courtney Sonner's sacrifice fly.

An error allowed New Albany to tie the game in the third. The Bulldogs then scored twice in the fourth to go ahead 4-2.

The Cubs got a run back in the fourth when Bickers reached on a bunt single and scored on Brooklyn Smith's hard-hit single to left.

Danielle Williamson led off the sixth with a single for New Albany and an out later Brooke McCoy lashed the shot that hit Brown in the chest. Cub third baseman Smith alertly picked up the ball and forced the runner at second base and the Bulldogs were kept off the scoreboard in the inning.

New Albany got its final run in the seventh when McKenzie Gill singled and scored on Veit's RBI double. Madison then won the game in the seventh.

Brown allowed nine hits in seven innings but other than Fath's triple in the first, New Albany only got five other balls out of the infield against her. Brown struck out three and walked none.

"We've been working on keeping batters off balance and (Brown) hit her spots," Ralston said. "She did a heck of a job. She toughed one out today. She took a hard shot back up the middle and she might have come out last year or the year before. But she wasn't coming out today. She wanted to finish this game and that's what you want out of your seniors."

Brown, Povaleri, Bickers and Poling each had two hits for the Cubs while Sonner had two RBIs.

Gill took the loss for New Albany after allowing five earned runs on nine hits in six and a third innings with three strikeouts and a walk. McCoy had two hits and Veit a double to lead the Bulldogs.

Madison travels to South Ripley on Friday.

Errors take toll on Shawe

Shawe softball dropped a 25-1 decision on the road versus Lanesville on Monday night to open the 2013 season.

Shawe head coach Gary VanWye said "errors killed the Hilltoppers."

Shawe (0-1) has 10 days off before traveling to Vevay on Friday, April 12 to play Switzerland County in an Ohio River Valley Conference game at 5 p.m.