Southwestern’s Shaye Geer (above, left) and Michela Brown collide while attempting to catch Bree Barnes’ fly ball during the Lady Rebels’ loss Tuesday at   Madison. Barnes circled the bases for an inside-the-park home run, one of three homers Madison hit in the 15-6 win. The Cubs’ Kaitlin Brown (below) celebrates with Cadie Povaleri (in helmet) after Povaleri’s home run. The two went back-to-back in the first inning. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Southwestern’s Shaye Geer (above, left) and Michela Brown collide while attempting to catch Bree Barnes’ fly ball during the Lady Rebels’ loss Tuesday at Madison. Barnes circled the bases for an inside-the-park home run, one of three homers Madison hit in the 15-6 win. The Cubs’ Kaitlin Brown (below) celebrates with Cadie Povaleri (in helmet) after Povaleri’s home run. The two went back-to-back in the first inning. (Staff photos by David Campbell)
Madison collected 14 hits - including three home runs - to pull away for a 15-6 win over Southwestern in a Jefferson County softball battle Tuesday at Lady Cub Field.

Kaitlin Brown and Cadie Povaleri went back-to-back with bombs over the fence during a five-run first inning for the Cubs. Bree Barnes' three-run inside-the-park home run highlighted Madison's nine-run fourth.

That offensive onslaught proved too much for the game Rebels who scored four runs in the fourth and staved off the mercy rule with a pair of runs in the fifth.

"If we focus at the plate we can be a pretty good hitting team," Madison coach Tony Ralston said. "We hit those balls hard. Have some teams made some errors against us? Yeah, they have. But you've got to put it in play and you've got to hit it hard for that happen. If we're putting the ball in play and putting pressure on the defense, then good things will happen."

Madison (8-4) hammered Southwestern starter Emily McCane right from the start and chased her from the circle before she could get an out in the first.

Barnes led off the inning with a double and stole second. Hannah Bickers reached on a bunt single that scored Barnes and Ashleigh Poling followed by drawing a walk. Bickers eventually scored after two-straight passed balls.

That set the stage for Brown, who hammered a deep home run to left field that easily cleared the fence. Two pitches later, Povaleri followed with a home run of her own to the deepest part of the park, just left of the batter's eye in center field for a quick 5-0 lead.

"(Madison) has a lot of good hitters and we knew that coming in," Southwestern coach Duane Ralston said. "That worried me coming in. I knew they could hit the ball."

Madison picked up a sixth run in the third when Brown singled and an error allowed courtesy runner Kaitlin Rice to score. But the Cubs also failed to blow open the game and it nearly cost them when Southwestern's bats woke up in the fourth.

Brown, the Madison starter, held the Rebels hitless through three innings but Southwestern (1-9) didn't need a hit to get its first run.

Austin Courtney opened the fourth by striking out but the ball squirted away from Madison catcher Courtney Sonner and the Rebel easily reached first. Courtney then stole second and later scored when Sonner's pickoff throw sailed all the way to the center field fence.

The next batter, Tyler Smith, broke up Brown's no-hit bid with a sharp single to left and Michela Brown followed with a one-out single. A wild pitch, a groundout by Sarah Scholey and an infield single by Katie Conover led to three more runs and all of a sudden the Rebels trailed only 6-4.

"We were able to come back and give ourselves a chance," Duane Ralston said. "We've been able to come back many times (this season), we just can't keep it close or put it away."

Madison regrouped and answered Southwestern with its second big inning of the game, a nine-run fourth that saw 13 batters come to the plate. Jennie Wilson had a double and Bri Tingle, Bickers, Poling, Sonner and Annelise Hackney all had singles in the inning but the big blow came courtesy of Barnes.

Barnes had doubled and scored earlier in the inning but in her second at-bat of the frame she hammered a deep fly ball to left-center field with a pair of runners on base. Southwestern left fielder Brown and center fielder Shaye Geer collided on the play - a nasty collision that sent Geer flying into the air and Brown injured on the field - and Barnes easily circled the bases for the inside-the-park home run.

While Geer stayed in the game, Brown was shaken up and ended up coming out of the game. The status of her injuries was available at presstime.

"We came out and played really well in the first and then it started to rain and I think our girls thought the game was over," Tony Ralston said. "But we had a talk before the start of the fourth and they were able to get re-focused."

With Madison leading 15-4, the game could have easily ended in the fifth on the 10-run rule but Southwestern tacked on two more runs to keep the game going. The big blow was a two-run double by Haley Bare, who had replaced Michela Brown in the lineup.

Neither team scored over the final two innings.

Barnes was 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles, a homer, three RBIs and three runs to lead Madison. Kaitlin Brown was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Bickers was 2-for-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

Courtney went 2-for-4 with a double and three runs scored to lead Southwestern. Brown, Conover and Josie Barnett added singles.

Kaitlin Brown picked up the win with five solid innings in the circle. The senior allowed four earned runs on six hits with six strikeouts and no walks. Freshman LeAnn Fox closed out the game with two innings of one-hit ball.

"Kaitlin got hurt in practice last week and she still isn't all the way back. I thought she pitched well though," Tony Ralston said. "LeAnn looked very good. She had a good outing on Saturday and she pitched well again today."

McCane, who returned to the game in the fourth to relieve reliever Barnett, took the loss with a total of two and two-thirds innings pitched, eight runs allowed on eight hits and four strikeouts. Barnett gave up seven runs - six earned - on six hits with four strikeouts in three and one-third innings.

"Emily started out rough but when she came back in she got into a pretty good groove," Duane Ralston said. "And Josie pitched very well but she ran out of gas a little."

Both teams return to action with home games today. Madison hosts Scottsburg while Southwestern hosts Jac-Cen-Del.