Demons down Williamsburg
Washington softball had left seven runners on base in the first five innings of their game against Williamsburg.
In the sixth inning, the Demons broke through, and brought six runners home as they picked up the 7-2 win over Williamsburg on Monday night.
“We played pretty good defense last night,” Washington softball head coach Angie Shrader said. “We only had a couple errors and for the most part, they didn’t cost us. We left too many people on base. It only takes one person on our team to get that big first hit and then everyone kind of follows suit. That’s what happened last night, and after that it was hit after hit after hit. We fed off each other for momentum and that’s what they’ve been used to in the past and hopefully it can continue.”
Williamsburg had posted runs in the second and fifth innings, but Demon pitcher Ashley Rausch kept them at bay, only allowing three hits and four walks, while striking out nine in seven innings.
Rausch currently sports a 1.64 ERA after 19 starts this season, and has struck out 149 batters, in 127 2/3 innings pitched. She will be starting on Thursday when the Demons take on Fort Madison in the first round of district play.
“(Ashley has) confidence being built by good defense behind her and getting the bats going,” Shrader said. “Being a senior, she knows what it takes to get it done. She’s seeing her spots and is making batters chase pitches she doesn’t want to chase. A lot of (her success) comes down to getting on top early. She is getting a first pitch strike and then she can work more of her pitches. When you have to work from behind, that gets frustrating.”
Offensively against Williamsburg, Kolbi Breard and Rausch picked up two RBIs each for the Demons, while Kayla Andrew picked up her second homerun of the season.
Due to a rainout, Washington now faces a scheduling quirk. Before they play Fort Madison on Thursday, they will have a doubleheader against the Bloodhounds on Tuesday to wrap up the regular season.
With nothing to gain from an extra pair of wins, the Demons plan to save their top pitcher for Thursday.
“As a coaching staff we probably are not going to show everything we are going to do on Thursday,” Shrader said. “We aren’t planning to show them Ashley again, and try to get by tonight without pitching her, and part of it is with her pitching (against Williamsburg) we don’t want her worn out.”
In her one start against Fort Madison earlier in the year (an 8-2 win on June 2), Rausch struck out nine batters and didn’t allow an earned run.
The Demons still have things to figure out in the games against Fort Madison, as Morgan Brinning suffered a broken finger two weeks ago against Keokuk.
“With Morgan out with an injury, we had to change our lineup a little bit,” Shrader said. “We are still trying to find out the best lineup that we have in the situations we are looking at. We are going to use tonight as a situation where we aren’t going in to lose, but we have nothing to gain if we do win. Whatever happens doesn’t determine Thursday. Hopefully we’ll have everything put together and we can bring the best team on Thursday.”
Brinning’s loss will be felt at the plate, as the eighth grader was batting .279, with an on-base percentage of .389. She had 15 runs and four RBIs on the season, as she primarily controlled right field and third base for the Demons.
The doubleheader will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday night.