The second round did not go as well for the Argylls on Thursday night, as the Alexandria-Monroe Tigers dominated from the start in a 14-6 win.
With the loss, Madison-Grant will not contend for a Madison County Tournament championship, and will finish no higher than third.
“They are just a nice hitting club,” Justus said. “Their middle of the lineup is very solid, and their other players put the bat on the ball. It was just one of those situations we need to learn from and grow from.”
And Justus is confident that his team will do just that.
“We are making those little mistakes that freshmen and sophomores make. I think there are some growing pains, but I think by the time we get through the season, we will be fine.”
Heading into the third place game against Frankton, Justus announced that Evans, who had been hampered the last several contests with a quad injury, would not be in the lineup, leaving Madison-Grant without one of its top players.
And on Saturday night, the Argylls put together one of their most impressive victories of the young season, defeating the Eagles 8-5 in extra innings.
The Argylls ran into trouble early, as Havens gave up a lead-off home run, and Frankton’s Maycee Mallernee hit an RBI groundout in the second inning to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
But the Argylls proved early on they would not go down without a fight.
Havens looked stronger as the game went on, and Madison-Grant’s offense began to show life.
McKenna Lugar hit a home run in the fourth inning to cut the Eagles’ lead in half, and after Frankton regained their two-run advantage, Havens and Alcala hit an RBI double and an RBI single, respectively, in the fifth inning to tie the game up at three.
Frankton regained the lead in the bottom of the sixth, but the Argylls tied it up once again, scoring one run in the top of the seventh to send the game to extra innings.
The Argylls took their first lead of the night in the eighth inning after Shouse scored on an RBI single by Duncan, but the Eagles tied it up with a sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the frame.
In the top half of the ninth, the Argylls pushed three runs across, and held on down the stretch to secure the victory.
Without their one of their strongest players, and fielding a relatively young lineup, the Argylls showed a lot of growth and maturity against the Eagles.
“It was a typical Frankton-Madison-Grant game,” Justus said. “We both play each other well and we both play alike, but I thought we grew up tonight. A couple of young kids made early mistakes that led to runs – we got off to a shaky start – but I have to give Maggie a lot of credit. Maggie could have easily gotten discouraged, but she got better as the game went on. She kept her composure, threw around kids, got some popups, and we wound up pulling it out.
“After tonight, the kids believe. We were down a couple of runs, we had missed opportunities, and we didn’t execute, but we hung in there and got a couple of breaks. It was a tremendous win for a young team.”