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Eagles fall in home debut
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For a team with four newcomers, the home opener is not only an exciting event but also a nerve-racking one.

Such may have been the case for Eastside softball Tuesday as it welcomed Madison County for the first home and region game of the season.

The Red Raiders (7-2, 1-0 Region 8-AAAA) won 6-2 behind a four-run error-filled sixth inning to snap the Eagles' two-game win streak.

The Eagles (4-2, 0-1) managed just two hits throughout the game, tallying them both in the first two innings.

Madison County pitched who Eastside coach Jason Stokes felt was the better of their pitchers to start the game, before going to someone who Stokes felt his team could hit better. However, Eastside struggled in the second half of the game, while getting both their hits off the starter.

"The first pitcher I thought was much better, and we got two hits off her," Stokes said. "The next pitcher to come in was slower and more around the strike zone. I thought it was something the girls would be able to sit on.
"It could have been first home game jitters."

Jordan Hilton led the game off with a single, and Bailey Stewart followed with a second inning hit for the Eagles only two hits of the game.

While Eastside struggled with the bat, Madison County got help from the Eagles with a missed pitch and an error.

The Red Raiders' first runs came when Eastside meant to walk who Stokes considered their best pitcher, but instead threw one over the plate.

"She hit a double," Stokes said. "That run shouldn't have scored."

With the game tied 2-2 heading into the sixth inning, Madison County took advantage of miscues to break the game open.

Eastside walked the first batter before failing to throw out a streaking runner, and then misplaying a bunt to score the go-ahead run.

With the bases loaded, Madison County then came up with a no-out two-run double to right field.

"If we make the routine plays, we should have been in that ball game," Stokes said.

The Eagles, which started the season with back-to-back wins, continue Region 8-AAAA play at Johnson, Gainesville on Thursday.