Madison County punched its ticket to Columbus Wednesday evening, downing Alexander in a Sweet 16 doubleheader.
The Class AAAA #1-ranked Raiders (33-2) defeated Alexander 6-3 in game one, then routed the visiting squad 11-1 in the nightcap.
Randee Bettis was the game one winning pitcher going the distance finishing the night with 12 strikeouts. Bettis struggled early but buckled down to pick up the win despite walking 10 batters.
Alexander struck for two runs in the first inning and one in the second before going quietly the remainder of the way. Alexander left the bases loaded in the first, second and sixth innings.
The finishing touches on the win for the Raiders came on a two-out, two-run triple by Ivie Drake in the fifth inning that gave Madison County a three-run cushion.
In game two, Alexis Damron was nearly untouchable in the early going, allowing just four hits and one run in an 11-1 blowout.
The Raiders gained the early momentum with five runs in the first inning and two in the second. A single to center field by Courtney Alexander brought home three runs on a play that was aided by a throwing error.
Drake connected on a long home run over the right field fence in the second inning and from that point on, it was smooth sailing for the Raiders.
Madison County will begin state tournament play in Columbus beginning next Thursday, with eight teams battling for the Class AAAA title.
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