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Softball title run will cut into class time

Madison, Roberson have 11 on contender


10:05 PM, Jul. 25, 2012 EDT

Nine softball players from Madison and two from Roberson won the 16 and under Babe Ruth Southeast Regional championship this past weekend in Greenville, N.C. / SPECIAL TO THE CITIZEN-TIMES

MARSHALL — 

Madison will be without a good chunk of students when a new school year begins on Aug. 9.

It must be a typical case of nine girls playing hookey?

No, they will be playing softball in the 16 and under Babe Ruth World Series in Wilson.

Lexie Ammons, Hannah Anders, Makayla Drewnoski, Allie Leake, Baylea Loven, Emily Nowlin, Brianna Reed, Jessica Roberts and Mallory Swaney joined Roberson's Rachel Drake and Karley Yeager to win the Southeast Regional championship last weekend in Greenville, N.C.

Madison is one of nine teams that will be involved in next month's tournament. The melding of two conference championship high school squads from last spring (Madison and Roberson) occurred because the South Buncombe Youth League did not have enough players to form an all-star team.

Buncombe County schools do not resume classes until Aug. 16, two days after the World Series wraps up.

"Most of us are going to miss the first week of school, but it's definitely worth it," said Leake, who was an All-WNC pitcher as a junior for Madison High.

"This is such a great team. It feels like we're strong at every position. I definitely don't worry when someone hits the ball."

Leake hasn't missed a beat since playing a prominent role in Madison's run to the 2-A Western Regional championship in June.

The right-hander finished the Southeast Regional tourney with a 0.25 earned-run average and allowed just five base hits.

She also batted a team-high .476. Loven (.474) and Yeager (.470) hit .470 or better as well.

The Southeast Regional tournament included teams from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and the Bahamas.

Madison swept Henderson-Vance in the best-of-three championship series.

"I think we'll do well (in the World Series)," said Loven, who is a rising junior left fielder/third baseman.

"We've been trying for the past five years to get out of the Southeast Regional and we played really well this time. It's been fun. Softball is our best sport in Madison County. We put a lot of effort into it."

Loven's father, Jeff, is the head coach for the Madison team.

"This is definitely the girls and not me," Jeff Loven said.

"The core group of this team has been together since they were 11 years old. We've added new players every year and this is a young group. We've got five kids who could be playing in the 14 and under (division)."

 

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