The Demon softball team split with Keokuk last night after being down early in both games of the double header.
In game one, Ashley Rausch came in to pitch for the Demons, and in the first inning looked a little off, walking two, but got out of the inning with no runs scored. On the offensive side Washington went down in four batters.
In the second inning, things got worse for Rausch, after allowing a leadoff single she came back to strikeout Kaci Ames, but then walked Alyssa Wessel on four straight pitches and went 2-0 on Taylor Lemon before she had one of her hits on the night, she went 4-4 in game one. Rausch then walked in a run, gave up an RBI single, and walked in another run before having her day ended after just pitching 1 1/3 innings. Enter Amber Linnekamp. Bases loaded, one out, Linnenkamp gave up a sacrifice RBI and struck out Baily Roth to get out of the inning down 4-0. Linnenkamp then came back and threw a short order inning in the third.
In the fourth Linnenkamp gave up a lead off single that turned into a run after Brooke Wade put down a sacrifice bunt for Keokuk that Joni Erwin fielded and made the throw over to first, but no one covered third in her absence giving Lemon a free trip to third as well. Makenzie Pezley then drove in Lemon to make the score 5-0.
Washington’s bats started to wake up in their half of the fourth, after Kaitlin Buchholz got the Demons first hit and Stephanie Fishback drive her in on an RBI single. In the fifth Linnenkamp threw another short order inning and the Demons stepped back up. Chayse Jaspering reached on an error, and Maddie Bohr got a single bringing up Sammy Ellingson who drove in Jaspering, but Bohr was thrown out at third, Buchholz stepped up and hit a two run shot to score Ellington to make the score 5-4 late in the game. Keokuk got two on in the sixth, but could score none. Washington got two on in the sixth and that brought up Jaspering who hit the ball out to the right center fence had had a two RBI triple in the sixth to make the score 6-5 going into the final inning.
In the seventh Keokuk threatened with two on and two down, but Linnenkamp got Ames to pop up to Bohr and Washington won game one 6-5.
Linnenkamp came in in relief for 5 2/3 innings, and gave up three hits, one run, one earned and struck out one with no walks. Buchholz was 2-3 with two runs and two RBI’s, while Jaspering was 1-3 with a run, two RBI’s and a triple.
Maddie Bohr got the start in game two, and the game started the same way for Washington with their starting pitching struggling. Bohr went 1 1/3, and the Demons brought in Rausch who got out of the second inning, but not before Chelsea Deyo hit a Grand Slam to make it 7-3. Rausch went back in in the third and had a two run shot hit off of her, and again was pulled early on the night bringing in Linnenkamp who allowed no runs. Washington made a late game push to make the score 9-5, but hit into a double play with a runner getting thrown out at the plate.
Demon head coach Angie Shrader said Linnenkamp did a great job for them, but that the bats need to wake up especially this late in the season.
“Amber has been doing a great job for us coming in relief for the last couple of weeks and doing what she needs to which is throw strikes and let her defense get her out of the inning and that’s what we did, and I think our defense has been playing extremely well, and Amber is doing her job, we just have to get all cylinders going, and Maddie and Ashley both struggled to find the strike zone a little bit tonight and we didn’t help with our bats either,” Shrader said. “We jump up to a 3-0 lead and then we were like ‘oh okay,’ and then we forgot that we had to finish and keep playing, and it is just frustrating that we put ourselves in that situation.”
Washington fall to 18-8 overall, and 8-4 in the conference.