The Madison softball rally started early and ended late with a Class 6 state title

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Ahead of Saturday’s Virginia Class 6 State title game against Cosby, Madison coach Jim Adkins had a simple message for his team.

“There’s no pressure,” Adkins said. before the Warhawks’ 7-6 comeback win at John Champe High in Aldie. “We shouldn’t be here.”

Madison’s comeback on Saturday capped a rally that really began just before the season started when the Warhawks learned that 2021 conference player of the year Katelynn Park, the team’s ace, had torn her cruciate ligament and would miss the season.

“When that happened, the team really had to make a decision. ‘Hey, the season’s over before it even starts or we all have to pull together,'” Adkins said. “That’s been the battle cry all year.”

On Saturday, the Warhawks (16-1) needed one last rally to hold off the defending champion. Trailing 5-3 in the seventh, Madison scored four goals to take command and then held off a rally by the Titans (18-7) at the bottom of the inning to secure his third state title in five years.

Before the Warhawks got to batting in the seventh, Adkins crouched outside the dugout with his team.

“It’s a game,” Adkins told his players. “Go and play it.”

The rally was bolstered by Graciela Dominguez, who doubled to cut the Titans’ lead to 5-4. Rachel Schlueter singled to bring Dominguez home and tied the game at 5.

That earned Katrina Swan district player of the year with just one out.

Swan pitched and then laced up a deep drive that landed to the left of the fence. Swan broke down in tears while rounding third base as her team swarmed them onto the plate in celebration.

“I was just so happy, I couldn’t believe it, it was one of those movie moments,” Swan said.

The Warhawks held on from there and mobbed the field when Cosby’s late rally fell short.

“Our goal was a regional championship and early in the season there would be states, but when [Park] tore her ACL, we thought let’s just go to the regionals,” Swan said. “And then just to make it here, it’s incredible, I’m so happy to be here with these people too.”

The win marked Madison’s eighth state title.

“I thought if we were .500 we would be lucky,” Adkins said. “But after working with the girls and watching them and just seeing them rally around each other. … That’s really why it’s so special.”


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