The No. 7 Demon softball team had to win two to take the lead in the Southeast Iowa Conference last night, but could only manage a split with conference leader Fairfield.
The Demons who had the fourth best batting average and on base percentage in the state regardless of class won the first game 5-4, but for the first time this year were completely shut down losing 2-0 in the second game.
In the first game Washington struggled to figured out Haley Grunwald, as she sent down four batters by her self in the first two innings. Ashley Rausch did the same, in one less batter., and had her defense help.
Finally in the third the Demons broke through with two runs to take the lead, and a big solo shot by Grace Redlinger in the fourth to go up 3-0.
The Trojans did not give up as they as they battled back after some errors and walks by the Demons to make it a one run game in the fifth.
The Demons added some more insurance for themselves in the fifth with a couple of RBI’s by Joni Erwin and Rausch, but after a quick sixth inning by both teams, things got scary for Washington.
Rausch loaded the bases in the seventh, and walked in the third run for Fairfield and gave up the fourth. Rausch battled back and struck out Mackenzie Harwood to get one out, but the bases were still loaded. Rausch got Makenna Ledger to ground to Erwin at third, who threw it home for the force out, and Buchholz whipped it down to first for the 5-2-3 double play to end the game with the bases loaded.
In the second game, the first inning told the entire story, with Fairfield scoring their only two runs in the top of the first, after a throwing and a fielding error helped the Trojan base runners get into scoring position.
The Demons are now 19-3, and still one behind Fairfield in the conference with Keokuk still left to play in Keokuk.
The softball regional rankings were released last night though, and Washington will host the entire region. They have a bye in the first round and will face the winner of Davenport North and Mt. Pleasant. Central Dewitt, Maquoketa and North Scott are the other teams in the region.