Sixteen and counting.
As of Friday, Madison has the longest active winning streak in Western North Carolina softball.
The Western Highlands Conference champions polished off visiting Polk County, 6-5, in the second round of the NCHSAA 2-A playoffs in Marshall.
As was the case in the teams’ previous two meetings, the final score was decided by one run.
Likewise, Patriots freshman Savannah Rice was the winning pitcher once again. The right-hander threw a complete game, scattering five earned runs, three hits and a walk. Rice had three strikeouts.
She was also 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs for Madison (22-1). Ashley Hamlin went 2-3 with an RBI and Alexis Nix went 2-4.
Brooke Vilcinskas and Alexis Baker also had doubles. Sabrina Moorefield added an RBI. The Patriots took the lead for good with three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Patriots are a No. 3 seed in the 2-A playoffs and will be back home Tuesday to face sixth-seeded West Wilkes (23-3).