CLOSE PLAY: Floyd Central catcher Dallas Henderson (left) and Madison’s Bailey Dyer (16) look up at the plate umpire for the call on a close play at home during Wednesday’s game in Madison. Dyer was out. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
CLOSE PLAY: Floyd Central catcher Dallas Henderson (left) and Madison’s Bailey Dyer (16) look up at the plate umpire for the call on a close play at home during Wednesday’s game in Madison. Dyer was out. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Floyd Central ended Madison softball’s modest two-game win streak in dominating fashion, rolling to a 10-0 win in six innings Wednesday at Lady Cub Field.

The Highlanders scored three runs in the first and four more in the second to take control of the game. Floyd managed only four hits over that span but took advantage of a spate of Madison mental errors and mistakes to pull away.

The Cubs (5-5) played much better over the final four innings but the damage had been done. And with only four singles at the plate, Madison had little chance to catch up.

“We didn’t start out so well. We made a lot of little mistakes that we don’t normally make,” Madison coach Tony Ralston said. “But I was really proud of the way our girls battled and hung in there. They could have quit but didn’t.”

Floyd Central (13-5) wasted little time jumping on Madison starter Amilia Hall for what proved to be the winning runs in the top of the first.

After Taylor Castleberry walked and Jensen Striegel singled, a suicide squeeze by Dallas Henderson brought in one run and a two-run single by Cassie Thomerson plated two for a 3-0 lead.

Floyd added four more runs in the second on singles by Jenna Endris and Henderson, a hit batter and a walk, and two misplays by the defense in the infield that allowed the Highlanders to steal two bases without drawing a throw.

An RBI single by Paige Meyer in the third pushed Floyd’s lead to 8-0.

“They’re a really good team and they’re a difficult matchup. They have a lot of team speed and they use it well,” Ralston said. “They’re always a top 10 team and they showed why.”

Madison had little chance to answer Floyd’s early run. Despite early control issues that saw her walk the first two Cub batters of the game, Highlander pitcher Abby Letson settled down to strike out six of the next seven Cubs and did not allow Madison to put a ball in play until the third.

It was in the third that the Cubs eked out their first hits of the game. Bailey Dyer hit a ball 12 inches off the plate and beat out the throw for an infield single. Erin Laufer followed with a line drive down the first-base line against the drawn-in infield for another hit.

But Floyd escaped the inning without any damage when Alexis Wolf flied out to right and Dyer was thrown out at the plate. Madison got an infield single by Abby Moore in the fourth and a single by Nettie Eigel in the sixth for its only other hits.

Floyd meanwhile, finally broke through the Madison bullpen for two runs in the sixth to end the game on the mercy rule.

Hall, Brooke Koehler and Wolf each went two innings in the circle for the Cubs. Hall took the loss after allowing seven runs on four hits with three walks and a hit batter. Koehler allowed a run on three hits with two strikeouts and Wolf allowed two runs on four hits with two strikeouts.

Letson pitched just the first three innings to pick up the win. Madison Wathen worked the final three innings and gave up two hits, walked two and struck out five.

Striegel, Henderson, Meyer and Alexis McCullough each collected two hits to lead Floyd at the plate.

Madison now hosts Southwestern on Friday in its annual Cancer Awareness Game and Ralston said that his team is looking forward to the challenge.

“Southwestern has a very good team and coach (Duane Ralston) has done a really good job with them out there. There is a lot of respect between the two teams and our girls love to play them,” the Madison coach said. “It’s also a good cause and chance to really do something for the community. It’s a game we always look forward to.”

Milan halts Rebels’ win, scoreless inning streaks

Southwestern softball’s win streak and scoreless innings pitched streak both went down in a blaze on Wednesday in a 9-1 loss to conference rival Milan on the road.

The Lady Rebels had won five games in a row and held opponents scoreless for 30-straight innings coming into the contest. But Milan broke the scoreless streak with a run in the bottom of the first and then scored six times in the fifth to blow the game open.

“This game was our wake up call. We’ve been playing well lately but tonight I don’t think we were mentally ready to play a pretty good team and I was pretty disappointed in our performance,” Southwestern coach Duane Ralston said. “Each of the first three innings we had runners in scoring position with no outs or one out and failed score each time. If we had executed and scored a couple in those innings I think game may have played out a little different, but instead it gave Milan some momentum and they took it from there.”

After using an error and two ground balls to score a run in the first, Milan added a run in the third thanks to three singles.

Southwestern trailed only 2-0 heading to the fifth but that’s when the wheels came off for the Rebels. Milan sent 11 batters to the plate, collected three doubles and two singles, and scored six times to push ahead 8-0.

Southwestern broke up the shutout in the sixth when Meagan Ralston was hit by a pitch and later scored on Laykn Wilson’s RBI single, but Milan answered with a run in the bottom half of the inning for the final 9-1 margin.

Southwestern had only five hits in the game. In addition to Wilson’s RBI single, Meagan Ralston had a triple and scored a run, Brittney Ralston had a double and Abby Ralston and Kate Sampson added singles.

Kelsi Brierly took the loss for the Rebels, allowing three earned runs on nine hits in four and two-thirds innings with two strikeouts and three walks. Wilson worked the final inning and a third and allowed a run on two hits with two strikeouts.

“On a positive note we did have some nice plays including a diving catch by Kate Sampson and an outstanding double play on a sac bunt. Kelsi got the out at first to Meagan and she snapped the ball to Brittney to tag the runner of second base,” Duane Ralston said. “We had more than a few opportunities but woke up a little late tonight.”

Southwestern (8-5, 3-1 Ohio River Valley) visits Madison on Friday.

Ponder belts 2 homers, pitches 6-3 Trimble win

Abby Ponder hit a pair of home runs and struck out five in the circle to lead Trimble County softball to a 6-3 win over conference rival Owen County on Wednesday in Bedford.

Ponder’s two home runs — the freshman’s fourth and fifth of the season — helped stake the Raiders to an early lead. Trimble scored single runs in both the first and second innings before putting two on the board in the third and two in the sixth.

Owen did all of its damage late, scoring a run in the sixth and two in the seventh for the final margin.

Along with her two dingers, Ponder also pitched all seven innings to pick up the win. Kaylee Clifford had two hits for the Raiders and Shelbe Black had an RBI.

Trimble (6-9, 3-1 North Central Kentucky) visits North Oldham today for a District 29 tourney seeding game.

Lady Hilltoppers fall 14-1 at South Decatur

Shawe’s softball team lost 14-1 loss at South Decatur on Wednesday in Westport.

The Hilltoppers were playing their first game since April 12 after the cancellation of three straight games due to low player numbers.

The Hilltoppers (0-4) host Austin on Friday.