By Nathan Hutchinson
Register Sports Editor
Through the first six innings of Tuesday’s showdown with No. 14 North Laurel, the Lady Indians had just three hits.
In the seventh, they finally got their offense on track.
But, it was too little, too late.
Katie Brock hit a three-run home run, still Madison Central (8-11) suffered a 5-4 loss to the Lady Jaguars (14-9) in Richmond. The Lady Indians had the tying run on base in the seventh before North Laurel’s Megan Baldwin got the final out.
“Our defense was pretty good. I’m really proud of the way we played tonight,” Central coach Daniel Rogers said. “We battled back. We were a hit away from beating a really good team.”
Central trailed 5-1 heading into the final inning.
After the first two batters were retired, Sarah Arthur doubled to deep center field. Kirstin Spillman followed with a single to left.
Brock then delivered a three-run shot over the left-field fence that got Central back in the game.
“Sometimes it takes them getting mad to (get going offensively),” Rogers said.
The next batter, Emily Frakes, was hit by a pitch. Summer Fleeman then popped up to end the game.
The Lady Indians’ only other run came in the third. After North Laurel had taken a 5-0 lead in the top of the inning, Sammy Walzcyk and Arthur both walked, then Spillman ripped a single that score Walzcyk.
Brock later reached on an infield single, but the Lady Indians left the bases loaded.
Central stranded seven runners in the game.
MacKenzie Wilder went the distance in the circle for the Lady Indians. She allowed nine hits and worked out of several jams.
North Laurel left the bases loaded in the seventh and stranded seven runners.
“She pitched a great game and we played really awesome defense,” Rogers said.
Wilder retired the first six batters before the Lady Jaguars took control in the third.
Baldwin walked and Mikayla Vires reached on an infield single. Sidney Merrell singled and Makenzie Mills produced the game’s first run when she was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
Kalin Yantz reached on an fielder’s choice and Vanessa Smith and Blake Johnson followed with back-to-back singles.
Merrell had a hit and scored a run. Mills scored a run. Yantz had a hit and scored a run. Smith had two hits and scored a run. Johnson had two hits. Baldwin had a hit and scored a run, while Emily Sears and Vires each had a hit.
Baldwin picked up the complete-game victory and had eight strikeouts, with three walks, while hitting batter.
Central is set to return to action Thursday at home against Clark County.