As soon as the softball hit the dirt, Stone Bridge center fielder Sydney Broderick took off down the third base line against Madison. She finished the sprint with a head-first slide into home plate before the Warhawks’ defense could recover from the passed ball.

By narrowly avoiding the tag in the fifth inning of a 7-2 win for the Bulldogs, Broderick proved a lingering shoulder injury could not hinder her on an unseasonably chilly Tuesday night in Ashburn.

“I was just trying to be aggressive,” Broderick said. “I knew if the ball was on the dirt, I was going to go.”

The BYU-bound senior, a two-time All-Met selection, reached base only once thanks to an error, but she made the most of her opportunity in a scrappy win with Virginia AAA Liberty District implications.

In victory, Stone Bridge (6-0, 3-0) captured sole possession of first place in the district, which the Bulldogs won last year by beating Madison, 1-0, in the final game of district play.

For Stone Bridge senior pitcher Kelly McDaniel, who struck out three and allowed only one earned run, the win was the perfect welcome back from spring break.

“I knew this was going to be a really important game at the start of the season, especially coming off of our break,” she said. “I’m glad we came out strong.”

McDaniel helped herself by going 3 for 4 at the plate and scoring two runs. She registered an RBI in the sixth inning when a deep single to right field scored senior shortstop Niki Prince, who had reached base on a two-out single of her own.

“We always talk about never take a pitch off, never take a play off,” Stone Bridge Coach Billy Rice said. “I like their tenacity. They don’t let up.”

Madison (5-1, 2-1) scored both of its runs in the third inning to rally from a 3-0 deficit when Kat Olson ripped an RBI-single one at-bat after Tori Lipnicky’s sacrifice fly.

Stone Bridge swept Madison in three matchups last year, when the Bulldogs won the AAA Northern Region. The two teams will square off again on April 26.