MADISON — Madeline Wood has developed a penchant for coming up with big hits in June in her brief tenure with the Madison softball team.

In last season’s Class C championship, Wood — then a freshman — hit an inside-the-park home run for the game’s lone run in a 1-0 win over Calais. This season she has proven that was not a fluke, and Friday afternoon Wood was at it again in the Mountain Valley Conference championship.

Wood went 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs — both of which cleared the fence with a little help from a steady breeze to left field — and picked up the win in the circle as Madison scored an 11-6 victory over Hall-Dale. Aly LeBlanc also had a big day at the plate for the Bulldogs, going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI.

“She did a great job on the mound and she obviously did a great job at the plate,” Madison coach Chris LeBlanc said of Wood. “She put in a lot of time in the offseason with weight lifting. She had a good swing beforehand, but I just think that all of her work that she’s put in outside of softball is paying dividends.”

Each time Hall-Dale threatened to make it a close game, Wood — more often than not — was there to give herself some room to work with in the circle. Wood scattered eight hits and walked two while giving up four earned runs and striking out five.

“They’re definitely really good hitters and they showed that when they rallied,” Wood said. “We just needed to focus on hitting the ball and making our plays.


“It was nice to have a cushion to pitch with.”

After Hall-Dale tied the contest at 1-1 in the top of the third on an RBI single up the middle by Becca Ackerson, Wood launched the first of her two homers well over the fence in left-center field with one out in the bottom half of the inning.

Madison went on to tack on three unearned runs in the inning to open up a 5-1 lead, and in the bottom of the fourth, a double from Aly LeBlanc — sandwiched around RBI singles from Wood and Erin Whalen — pushed its lead to 8-1.

“We made a mistake and they capitalized on it,” Hall-Dale coach Stephen Acedo said. “That was our biggest problem. You take away those errors and those unearned runs and it’s a lot closer game. We had the same problem last time we played them.”

Hall-Dale managed to cut the deficit in half in the top of the next inning thanks to a two-run double from Ackerson, who later scored on a single from Emma Begin. Hall-Dale made it 8-5 after scoring an unearned run in the top of the sixth, but Wood once again had an answer.

Her towering shot to left field with one out in the bottom of the inning that — with a little help from the wind — carried over the fence for a two-run home run put her team back up by five. Madison made it 11-5 before the inning was through when LeBlanc scored on a ball hit to left by Ashley Emery that landed in between a trio of Hall-Dale players.

Haley Houdlette — who scored three of her team’s six runs — added an unearned run for Hall-Dale in the top of the seventh, but the visiting Bulldogs could not draw any closer.

“They don’t give up,” Acedo said. “They keep battling so I’m pretty happy with that.”

Acedo also said he was hoping his team would get one more shot at Madison before the spring is through. Madison and Hall-Dale are the top two seeds, respectively, in the Western Class C tournament and would only meet if both teams win their way to the regional final.

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