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FairfaxSportsMadison wins region softball championship

Madison wins region softball championship

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During the preseason, it would have been easy for the Madison Warhawks to give up on the upcoming campaign when their best player, Katelynn Park, was lost for the entire spring with a knee injury.
Instead, the girls high-school softball team rallied and banded around the situation, and now have won two big post-season tournament championships to show for their diligence, determination and talent.
The night of June 3, the Warhawks (21-3) won the 6D North Region tournament crown for the 15th time in program history with an 8-1 victory over the host McLean Highlanders (17-6) in the title game, in addition to a Concorde District tourney championship, won just days earlier.
Madison was dominant in the region tournament, finishing with a 3-0 record, outscoring opponents, 29-3, playing errorless defense in all three games, and averaging 13.3 hits per outing. Ava Livingston (16-1) was the winning pitcher in each contest, throwing a complete-game six-hitter with four strikeouts and allowing one earned run against McLean. She retired nine hitters in a row at one point.
Warhawks’ senior shortstop Graciela Dominguez was the hitting and defensive star. With the bat, she was 4 for 5 with a homer, two doubles and four RBI. In the field, she was flawless – catching a popup, fielding multiple ground balls and throwing at runners, and tagging out another attempting to steal.
“Absolutely not,” Madison coach Jim Adkins said when asked if he thought Madison could win a region title without Park. “But these players all season long have rallied around each other. We have made adjustments, they have all stepped up in different ways and made plays up and down the lineup, and have found a way to be successful.”
In the region final, Madison had 13 hits and took advantage of multiple McLean fielding errors.
In addition to Dominguez, who has three of the team’s five homers, Sofia Marshall had three hits and an RBI, Ayla Condill added two hits and an RBI, and Rachel Schlueter and Rome Castro had two hits each. Katrina Swan had a sacrifice fly.
Madison scored two runs in the top of the first inning and was ahead for good.
“We did a great job getting the bat on the ball and playing defense,” Adkins said. “McLean is a very good team. Holding them to only one run is not easy.”
The McLean hitters popped, lined or flied out a combined nine times. Starting pitcher Elise Walker doubled twice for McLean. Macey Johnson, Willa Steeg, Taylor Statts and E.K. Templer all singled.
“Madison put the ball in play better than we did and they had a solid performance,” McLean coach Maurice Tawil said. “They capitalized on some early opportunities, and we didn’t play as well as we had been lately or capitalize on our opportunities.”
McLean left the bases loaded once early in the game.
Despite the errors, McLean made a number of good defensive plays. Madeline Staats in right field, Templer in left and Walker all made diving or good running catches.
Both teams were playing well entering the final. McLean had won seven games in a row and Madison four straight. McLean also had won the preceding Liberty District tourney.
Madison downed Yorktown, 11-1, in the first round of the region tourney, then defeated defending champion Washington-Liberty, 10-1, in the semifinals.
In that semifinal win, Madison had 13 hits, led by four from region Player of the Year Swan and two each from Condill, and Anna Mack.
McLean defeated Langley, 12-2, behind 16 hits in the other semifinals. Lily Brumbaugh, Piper Tedrow and Taylor Staats (three RBI) all had three hits and Walker (three RBI), Steeg (two RBI) and Templer all had two hits.
Both teams now advance to the Class 6 state tournament. Each has won state crowns in team history – Madison winning eight such crowns and McLean one in 2010.
NOTES: McLean played all of its postseason games at home, with a 5-1 record . . . Swan, Condill and Livingston were first-team all-region selections, with Johnson first-team for McLean. Adkins was the region’s Coach of the Year. Making second team all-region were Marshall and Domingez of Madison and McLean leadoff batter Tedrow . . . Madison and McLean have met often in recent years in the region tournament with a lot at stake. Prior to this season, the two last played in the tourney in 2019, when McLean won, 1-0, in the quarterfinals to end MadisonÕs two-year reign as region champs. The previous spring, Madison nipped McLean, 1-0, in the region final. The Warhawks won, 6-3, in the 2013 region semifinals and won 10-6, in the 2010 final.

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