The latest edition of the softball rivalry between Washington and Mid-Prairie played out Wednesday night in Washington with the Golden Hawks posting a pair of wins. Game one saw Mid-Prairie lead throughout on their way to a 12-2 victory in a game that lasted just five innings. The Golden Hawks got out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Amber Kral singled with one out to drive in Alex Rath and Emma Troyer singled to drive in Kral. The second inning saw Mid-Prairie post a four spot with Kral blasting a three run homer to left center field.
The Demons would get on the board in the bottom of the inning with four straight two out hits from Kolbi Breard, Lexi Redlinger, Anna Wheeler and Chayse Jaspering to put two runs on the board. The game stayed that way until the fourth when Kral left the yard again, this time on a two run homer to make it 8-2. Following the game Mid-Prairie Head Coach Kara Beatty talked about Kral and her team’s big night at the plate.
“The game plan was to get the top of the order on, with the two slappers, and then move them. We have a lot of power in the three, four, five, six spot and I told them in the beginning to be aggressive with the bats and the hitting was contagious in the first game,” Beatty said. “Well the thing that I don’t think people realize about Amber [Kral] is that she is a sophomore, but she is young, she won’t be 16 until the next school year. She’s a young kid, but her mentally at the plate is unreal, where she is learning more and more about what she will face as a batter, what pitchers are going to throw at her. She’s just being patient, and shes definitely seeing melons right now, she’s seeing beach balls.
Mid-Prairie would put together their second four run inning of the night in the fifth, on three hits and a Washington error to run the score to 12-2. Taylor Kurtz recorded the win in game one, going four innings, surrendering two runs on six hits, and striking out two. Ashley Rausch took the loss going five innings giving up 10 hits, 12 runs, eight of them earned, walking four and striking out three.
The night cap was tight most of the way until the Demons were once again bitten by a bad inning, this time in the seventh, and fell 8-1. Taylor Kurtz was in the circle again for Mid-Prairie, while the Demons sent out Amber Linnenkamp. Washington would take their first lead on the night in the third inning when Chayse Jaspering tripled with one out and was driven in on a Jessie Buchholz sac fly to right. Linnenkamp made that run stand up through the first five innings with a stellar performance holding the hot Mid-Prairie bats to just four hits through the first five frames. In the sixth the Golden Hawks would tie it when Kurtz drove in Lexi Duwa on a one out RBI single. Tied at one going to the seventh inning, the Golden Hawk offense exploded.
Mid-Prairie sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning, scoring seven runs, including the third homer of the night for Amber Kral, this one a two run job, and Mid-Prairie blew the game open and put it away at 8-1. Following the doubleheader Demon Head Coach Angie Shrader talked about her team’s poise and trying to get past the one bad inning scenario.
“It was nice to score first, I think that was one of the things that helped Amber throw well was that we had that run on the board, but we were lacking that full game effort, and it is not that they can’t do it, they have that ability, they just have to believe in themselves and not get down whenever somebody puts a player on base or scores a run. We just have to make sure we finish,” Shrader said. “We’ll get over the hump, hopefully it’s just soon.
Kurtz recorded the win for Mid-Prairie going all seven innings, allowing four hits, one run, walking one and striking out one. Linnenkamp took the loss for the Demons, allowing 11 hits, eight runs and striking out a pair. Offensive leaders for the night for Mid-Prairie included Amber Kral who was four for seven at the plate with three homers and eight RBI. Lexi Duwa was five for eight with three runs scored. Chayse Jaspering led the Demons going three for seven with two RBI and a run scored. Mid-Prairie is now 16-9 on the season and hosts Cascade tonight, while Washington is 8-16 and travels to the Muscatine tournament this weekend.