WILSON — Unhappy with the performance of his Madill fast-pitch team in a pair of run-rule losses to Dickson and Kingston on Monday, coach Randy Rushing issued a challenge to his Lady Wildcats.
“All three of us coaches talked to them about it and put a challenge on them that, ‘Hey, go home tonight and think about what you did wrong, because we’re a better team than what we showed (Monday),’” he said.
One day after scoring a total of two runs, Madill came out a more confident team on offense Tuesday afternoon.
Madill tallied six runs before Wilson ever came up to bat, on its way to cruising to a 12-4 win in five innings via the run rule, for its first victory of the season.
Kassy Kemp could sense the confidence in the dugout as she waited her turn to hit.
Kristen Chapa had the first big run-producer of the first inning with a double, and Kyann Melton drove in two more runs with a two-bagger of her own.
Then, up to bat came Kemp.
Kemp, the No. 9 batter in Madill’s lineup, hit the ball, ran to second base and advanced to third base after a throw back into the infield was off-target. Her triple drove in two runs for a 6-0 Lady Wildcats lead.
Jowers and Kemp each contributed two hits in Madill’s victory.
“I think we were more ready to play today,” she said. “(Monday), we kind of went out there and was like, ‘We don’t want to play because it is really hot.’ Today, we came out with a whole different attitude.”
Madill (1-2) had a little wind taken out of its sails in the bottom of the second inning after third baseman Kortlyn Yow injured her knee in a collision with Melton, the Lady Wildcats’ catcher.
Yow dove forward to catch a fly ball in foul territory and was fallen on by Melton, who also gave chase. Yow was helped up from the field and hobbled as she tried to shake off the pain.
In the third inning, Yow stepped toward the batter’s box, but when she did, the pain proved too much. She was replaced by Cloe Austin.
“She had a little bump on her knee,” Rushing said. “We can’t afford to lose her because she is hitting the ball well.”
Wilson coach Sharla Carlile calls her Lady Eagles (0-2) a “positive” group that doesn’t down on themselves. Not even after they had lost by double digits to Healdton on Monday. Not even after they trailed 9-0 after two and a half innings Tuesday.
That positive mindset helped to produce the team’s first runs of the season.
In the bottom of the third, Morgan Whitsett led off with an infield single and later scored the first of three Lady Eagles runs —a play in which Madill pitcher Jaycee Wallace fielded a bunt and threw wide of the first-base bag.
After Stachia Diaz added an RBI ground-out, Ivy O’Steen singled and touched home plate a short time later on an error to cut the deficit to 9-3.
In the fourth, Kristen Cornelison singled in Bethani Ross, who led off the inning with a double, to make it a five-run game.
Taylor O’Steen went 2 of 3.
“It was good,” Carlile said of the third inning. “These girls are getting it together. They’ve had three different coaches in the last three years.”