MADISON — This time, there were no late heroics from the Madison softball team. The Bulldogs simply didn’t need them.

Six days after staging a miraculous comeback with a seven-run seventh inning to beat Monmouth in a matchup of two of the Mountain Valley Conference’s best teams, the Bulldogs raced out to an early lead and wore down the Mustangs for an 8-5 victory Thursday at Campbell Field.

Madison (15-0) capped off the sweep of a rare doubleheader with a 21-0, five-inning win over Boothbay immediately after, running the Bulldogs’ winning streak to 36 consecutive games dating back to the 2015 Class C South regional finals.

Senior Madeline Wood earned the win in the circle against Monmouth, aiding her own cause with a 2 for 4 day at the plate with a double and three runs scored. Junior center fielder Sydney LeBlanc enjoyed a 3 for 4 day in the cleanup spot, and junior second baseman Marah Hall went 3 for 3 with an RBI.

“Last time we played them, we were the ones who had to play catch up,” Wood said. “We focused on getting ahead and staying ahead.”

In that game last Friday, Monmouth scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to snap a tie game before Madison came back with seven in the final inning to post an 8-6 win. On Thursday, Madison made sure more of the same wouldn’t be required with runs in each of the first four innings, scoring a single run in the first before adding two more in the second. Freshman right fielder Lauria LeBlanc smashed the big blow of the inning, a triple to right-center which scored Hall to make it 3-0.

After Monmouth (11-4) rallied for three runs in the third to tie the game, the Bulldogs answered with a three-spot of their own in the home half of the inning — with RBIs from Destiny Howes and Lauria LeBlanc (3 for 3), and a run-scoring single from Ashley Emery.

From there, Madison never trailed in a game that featured the two teams combining for 23 hits.

Some of those hits, however, offered missed opportunities for either defense to come up with a big play to help their pitcher out of mounting trouble.

“It was probably our worst defensive game of the year,” Monmouth coach Dave Kaplan said. “I don’t know what it was. But some dropped balls, some plays we always make, some ground balls, plays that really should have been made. Those were uncharacteristic for us. But, hey, they’re a great team. We’re going to see them again.”

Madison coach Chris LeBlanc felt the same as his counterpart.

“It’s a good thing that we can score runs, because there’s times when they get a hit but I’m thinking, ‘We’ve got to make those plays,’ ” LeBlanc said. “We’re making the routine plays, but we’ve got to make that (difficult) catch out there. That’s my concern. We’ve got to make that play where it takes a little extra effort.”

With their teams locked in a slugfest early, Wood and Mustang Emily Chasse tightened their collective grip on the game in the late innings.

After Madison scored two in the fourth to make it an 8-3 game, Chasse retired seven of the final Bulldogs of the day to give her team a chance at the plate. Wood, meanwhile, sent the final seven Monmouth batters back to the dugout, retiring the side in order in both the sixth and seventh innings to serve as her own closer.

“We got into it, and it started getting close, so we started getting into the game more (as pitchers),” Chasse said. “We knew we needed the outs.”

Cleanup hitter Haylee Langlois carried the big stick for the Mustangs, going 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and two RBIs. She drove in a pair of runs in the three-run third, and in a two-run fifth inning, Langlois came home on Abby Ferland’s two-run double to right field that cut the Madison lead to 8-5.

Wood, though, never let Monmouth get any closer.

“I just tried to focus more on my locations and making sure I wasn’t giving them a lot of the plate,” Wood said. “I wanted to make them work for a hit. They’re able to hit all the way through the lineup, and that’s probably the most difficult thing. You don’t get a break. You have to be on your game with the whole lineup.”

Travis Barrett — 621-5621

[email protected]

Twitter: @TBarrettGWC

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