Five hours after play began, the dust settled in Kalona with #12 Washington and #2 Mid-Prairie splitting their softball double header Wednesday night. Game one saw a extra inning come back by Mid-Prairie to take a 6-5 victory. In that first game Washington got on the board in their first at bat with two runs as Maddie Bohr and Kaitlin Buchholz came around to score. Buchholz and Rausch racked RBI hits off of Mid-Prairie starter Olivia Lugar. Mid-Prairie answered in the second with three of their own on four hits to take the lead, the big blow in the inning was an RBI hit from Erika Murphy.
The Golden Hawks would get a gift run in the fifth to run the lead to 4-2 when a lead off walk came around on a wild pitch. The Demons rallied to tie it in the six when Sammy Ellingson led off with a single, Buchholz doubled and starter Ashley Rausch helped her own cause with a two RBI single. In extras things were quiet until the 10th when the Demons broke through with one on the top half with Bohr led off with a single and was driven in with a Buchholz double.
The Golden Hawks put together their own one out rally in the bottom half as Ashley Sojka singled and Amber Kral walked. Following a fly ball and down to their final strike the most clutch hitter on the year for Mid-Prairie stepped in and delivered one more time as Murphy ripped a single to left to drive in Sojka. The ball was misplayed in left allowing Kral to round the bases and steal the win for Mid-Prairie. After the game Mid-Prairie Head Coach Justin Lutjen spoke about Murphy and the final sequence of game one.
“She came up big for us, luckily, because we didn’t play well, and she came through and won that game for us,” Lutjen said. “Luckily we had a good few at-bats, Amber Kral had a nice at-bat to get on, and Ashley Sojka came up as a pinch hitter and got on and gave Erika the opportunity and she came through, and it was good to walk away with that win, we played poorly tonight, I don’t say that very often, but we just weren’t very good tonight.”
Olivia Lugar collected the win for Mid-Prairie to improve to 8-2 she went 10 innings, allowed 12 hits, five runs, walked two and struck out four. Rausch took the loss for the Demons in 9 2/3 surrendering six runs on eight hits, walking five and striking out four.
Game two saw Mid-Prairie take the early lead with a first inning run as Alex Rath scored from third when Maddie Kaalberg drew a throw to second base on a steal attempt. From that point on Washington controlled the game and Demons had an answer for each Mid-Prairie push. Washington would take the lead with three runs in the third off of Golden Hawk starter Taylor Kurtz. Stephanie Fishback drove in two in the inning with an RBI single and Mid-Prairie helped the Demons with two errors in the frame. The Golden Hawks committed five total errors in the night cap.
Mid-Prairie would get as close as 3-2 the rest of the way when Mallory McArtor took Demon starter Maddie Bohr deep for a solo shot to lead off the third. The Demons got that run back in the fourth on an RBI single from Bohr scoring Grace Redlinger and Washington returned the home run favor when Buchholz led off the top of the fifth with a solo shot to stretch the lead to 5-2. Mid-Prairie would post one run in the bottom half of the inning when Emilee Norman touched home but Amber Linnenkamp entered the circle for the Demons and held the lead for the save and victory. After game two Washington Head Coach Angie Shrader talked about her team’s response to come back and win game two.
“It was nice to come back, they’re a good ball club, and I think it was one of those situations that, it was nice to come back and win the second game because it could have been easily a hard fought battle in the second game with the first one going so long,” Shrader said. “It did feel like we controlled it, we didn’t make as many mistakes, I think they made more mistakes than we did. We forced them into [tough] situations, and we came back and answered with everything that they had, and it was nice for Kaitlin to come up with that home run, it was big.”
Bohr stayed perfect on the year for the Demons moving to 5-0 after working 4 1/3 innings giving up three runs on four hits, walking five and striking out four. Kurtz took the losing decision falling to 7-3 on the year giving up five runs on nine hits, walking two and striking out one. Demon offensive leaders on the night were Kaitlin Buchholz who went five for eight with a homer, two doubles, three RBI and four runs scored and Maddie Bohr who was seven for nine in the double header with an RBI and two runs scored. Mid-Prairie was led by Maddie Kaalberg’s two hits and Erika Murphy’s two RBI. Washington is now 14-6 on the year and will next be in action this weekend at the Muscatine tournament. Mid-Prairie is 16-6 and travels to West Liberty tonight.