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Help with transit options in Spain

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My daughter will be taking a summer class that will finish in Granada, Spain. She will be free to depart on May 27th, and her flight is out of Madrid on May 28th at 12:30pm. In looking at Rail Europe, it appears that the only direct train from Granada to Madrid does not leave until 6 in the evening and does not arrive in Madrid until around 11pm. We are urban people, but I am not thrilled about her having to get from the train station to a hotel that time of night in a country where her command of the language is only mediocre. There are loads of trains at various times all day from Cordoba or Seville to Madrid; the question is how to get from Granada to one of those cities? The Rail Europe site shows only evening trains from Granada to those cities as well. Are there local trains? Do they need to be booked in advance? Thank you in advance for any ideas you may have.

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