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Madison Softball Reaches Spring Break Championship Game

Warhawks' ace pitcher Sam Brady out for rest of season.

The Madison High girls' softball team has looked to be in solid midseason form during its play at its own Spring Break Tournament, which has been held over the past couple of weeks and will conclude this Saturday.

The Warhawks, who were 8-2 for the season going into this week, are scheduled to meet Westfield High in the spring break title game this Saturday morning, April 30 at 10. Other games - make-up contests for games that were rained out throughout the tournament - will also take place on Saturday.

Madison reached its tournament finals by winning a pair of games on Monday, April 18 - a quarterfinals round victory over Annandale High, 1-0, and a semifinals round win over Stonewall Jackson (Manassas), 6-2.

With school resuming this week, the Warhawks were readying to get back into the swing of their Liberty District schedule. Madison, in games this week, was set to host Langley on Tuesday, April 26 before traveling cross-town the following evening (April 27) to take on the Statesmen of Marshall. Then, this Friday night, April 29, Madison will return home for a 6:30 meeting versus Stone Bridge High.

Madison stood at 6-1 in district play going into this week's slate of games. The lone loss came on April 1 when McLean visited Vienna and defeated the Warhawks by a 5-2 score. The two rival clubs are scheduled to meet again next Tuesday night, May 3, at 6:30. That contest will take place at McLean, currently unbeaten in district play.

<b>MADISON'S LEADING</b> hitters thus far are EmJ Fogel (.537 batting average), Sam Brady (.533), and Allie Grasso (.478). Mary Bolinger leads the team with 18 RBIs, followed by Fogel's 14. Fogel also has nine doubles and a home run on the season. On the pitching mound, Brady has an outstanding earned run average at 1.07.

Unfortunately, Brady, who was Madison's ace pitcher last year when the Warhawks won both the district and Northern Region tournaments, was recently lost for the season as a result of an ACL injury which occurred during Madison's win over Stonewall Jackson. She is scheduled to have surgery this week with a nine-month recovery period to follow.

Also, Bollinger injured a hamstring during that same game and is scheduled to be out of action for the next couple of weeks.

"These setbacks do hurt," said Madison coach Jon Schneeberger. "The team [still] has the potential to finish strong."

Madison, going into this week, still had 10 games left to play before the start of the Liberty District Tournament on May 16. Four of those 10 remaining opponents - district foes McLean (defending state champion) and Stone Bridge, as well as region opponent Westfield, and local private school power Bishop O'Connell (Arlington) - are currently ranked in the area.

Schneeberger said pitchers Kelsey Ross, a sophomore, and freshman Elizabeth Fallas will pick up the pitching duties for the Warhawks with Brady out of the line-up.

"They have big shoes to fill, but they are up to the task at hand," said Schneeberger. "The team has confidence in both of them and looks forward to defending the Liberty District and Northern Region championships Madison won last year."