- Union County, FL. Written by: Kyrin Mayfield
Small town high school sports are a thing of beauty. The community supports the teams well, and it shows with the crowd size and energy brought to each game. This past Friday, the Class 1A Union County Tigers hosted the Madison County Cowgirls for a friendly game of softball.
It’s been a rough season for the Tigers. Their schedule has been tough, playing six of the nine game against teams with a winning record, and only two home games. All five of their wins have been by at least ten runs, while three of the four losses were by two or fewer.
Madison County has taken advantage of an easy schedule. All ten of their wins were against teams with a losing record, with the only exception being a win over Union County earlier this year. That game was a close 8-7 Cowgirl win. They scored two in the bottom of the seventh to take it. There were also 11 errors in the game, showing that offense and defense would be factors.
Both offenses came in hitting over an outstanding .400, while Madison County allowed one run or fewer in eight of their twelve games.
The Tiger offense didn’t skip a beat when they struck first in the first inning. The first five batters reached base. Kensley Hamilton led off with a single and stole second. Tiffany Clark followed with her own single and also stole second, putting runners on second and third for Kamaya Cohen. She got on thanks to an error from the short stop which allowed Hamilton to score for the first run of the game. Starla Vaughn followed with a 2RBI single that scored both Clark and Cohen as the Tigers took a 3-0, lead.
They added to that score in the next inning.
Rah Jones hit a single up the middle and stole second base. A few batters later, Cohen hit her home for her first RBI of the game and a 4-0 Tiger lead.
Madison County got things rolling in the top of the third. With one out, Laila Dickey got on by an error and moved to second from a single by Abi Annett. Reese Rutherford also hit a single, and the bases were loaded for Amber Reed. She was able to make contact in her at bat and grounded out to the short stop, scoring a run. Hope Underhill made it to first from an error by the Tigers’ pitcher, allowing Annett and Rutherford to come home. The lead was now a slim 4-3.
In the fourth, the Cowgirls kept rolling. Five consecutive batters reached base with two outs. Halie Wetherington hit a single past the second baseman. Dickey and Annett followed with singles to load the bases. Rutherford also hit a single to score Wetherington. Reed hit the fifth Cowgirl single in a row to score Dickey. Madison County took the lead 5-4.
Another run was added on in the fifth when Wetherington hit a double to right-center to score another run. The lead was now 6-4.
The Tigers fought back in the sixth. Clark led off with a walk, moved to second on an error from the third baseman, and scored on a single to left by Lauren Moody. That cut the lead to 6-5, but they couldn’t get any closer as the Cowgirls came away with the 6-5 victory.
Hamilton lead the Tigers going 3-for-5 with a run. Clark contributed two runs and went 2-for-3.
Reed had a great night for Madison County with two RBIs and 2-for-4 at the plate. Rutherford added a run and RBI while going 3-for-4.
Union County (5-5) next faces the Bell Bulldogs, tonight. Madison County (11-2) has a few days off before playing the Fort White Indians on Thursday.