Fishwrap Archive

The (Charlottesville, Va.) Daily Progress
Published: June 2, 1992

Madison sytmied by Powhatan
in Region B final

Madison softball storyBy DAVID LAWRENCE
Dally Progress correspondent

POWHATAN -- Last week, the Madison County Mountaineers were riding a wave of emotion as they earned the right to play for the Region B softball championship and clinched a berth in the Group A state playoffs.

That wave broke on the banks of the James River Monday afternoon. Powhatan southpaw Dana Smith held Madison to one hit as the Indians defeated the Mountaineers 6-1 in the Region B final.

Because of the loss the Mountaineers will be on the road for the first round of the state playoffs. They will travel to face Nandua on Friday.

Despite the fact that Madison pitcher Mary Kay Danuser held Powhatan (21-0) to four hits while giving up three walks, the Mountaineers (17-6) committed five errors, allowing three unearned runs to score.

"The adrenalin wasn't flowing in us today," said Madison coach Tim Taylor. "I don't know if it was because we already made it to the state playoffs or what. The intensity just wasn't there.

"I think what got us down was the fielding. We didn't catch and we didn't throw. We haven't made that many errors in the last two or three ball games combined. If you take away the errors it would be a 2-1 ball game and anything could have happened."

The trouble started in the bottom of the first inning. Powhatan first baseman Melanie Napier opened with a single. Shortstop Jill Owens then reached on an infield error to place runners at first and second. Two outs later, catcher Melissa Bedwell tripled them in to give the Indians a 2-0 lead.

Napier led off for Powhatan in the third inning, reaching first on an infield error. After two outs, she scored on another infield error to make it 3-0 Powhatan.

Madison scored its only run in the fourth inning. Second-baseman Deanna Estes opened the inning with a walk and stole second and third. One out later, catcher Donna Berrey drove her in with a groundout to second to cut Powhatan's lead to 3-1.

The Indians regained their three-run advantage in the fifth inning. Napier opened the inning with a walk. Shortstop Jill Owens singled her to third. Smith reached on another Madison error to load the bases, then third baseman Tamara Blankenship drew a bases-loaded walk that brought in Napier and made it 4-1.

Meanwhile, Smith had a no-hitter going. Estes broke it up with a one-out single in the sixth inning. Both Estes and left-fielder Maggie Hill -- who earlier was hit on the head by a Smith pitch -- were left stranded on the basepaths, however.

Smith, who improved to 20-0 this season and 44-1 for the last two, struck out 14 Madison batters. But she was also frequently out of the strike zone. The Mountaineers helped her out.

"Definitely we helped her out a lot," Taylor said. "[Smith is] an outstanding pitcher. She pitches hard and moves the bell around some. But a lot o those strikeouts were our fault.

"We swung at a lot of balls that were out of the strike zone, and let some good ones go by. We didn't pick the ball up very well today, and didn't swing the sticks well."

Powhatan's final run came in the sixth. Second baseman Michelle Nunnally opened with a single. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by right fielder Monica Ward, and advanced to third on a passed ball. Nunnally then scored on a groundout to second by designated hitter Jenny Conner.