Demons drop pair, prepare for playoffs
Washington softball won’t have to wait long to get another crack at Fort Madison.
The Demons dropped a pair of games on the road against their conference opponent on Tuesday night, but will travel back there on Thursday night for a regional matchup against the Bloodhounds.
Fort Madison scored six runs in the first two innings of game one to win 8-1, while the Demons were shut out in the second game, losing 7-0.
“We showed up not ready to play and didn’t really want to be there,” Washington head coach Angie Shrader said. “From Fort Madison, depending on who they choose to pitch (on Thursday) we need to work on our pitching timing. Their first girl is extremely slow, and while their second girl isn’t exactly quick, she’s faster. Fort Madison chose to bunt a lot and steal a lot and for much of the first game and all of the second game, we didn’t have any starting pitching in.”
Opting to save top starter Ashley Rausch for Thursday night’s game, Amber Linnenkamp and Mackenzie Knutson combined to pitch game one for the Demons, while Maddy Hinrichsen and Hannah Black threw in game two.
For Hinrichsen and Black, this was their first time in the circle for varsity action.
Offensively in the first game, Stephanie Fishback scored the Demons’ only run as Chayse Jaspering racked up three of Washington’s six team hits.
In game two, the Demons picked up seven hits, with Rausch and Fishback tallying two hits each, but were unable to bring any runners home.
Morgan Brinning, who is currently dealing with a broken finger suffered at Keokuk, has seen playing time in the past three games as a pinch runner for the Demons.
“We are trying to keep her involved,” Shrader said. “Hopefully we keep winning and we can get her healthy, but we are trying to keep her active and she’s a smart baserunner. Now that JV is done, we’ll have all our kids with us and it will give us a little more leeway. She didn’t get to do a whole lot as a baserunner because we couldn’t advance her, but she’s shagging fly balls at practice, but she can’t throw or bat yet.”
The next step for the Demons will be to put a complete game together for the playoffs, which begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday for Washington, and a big factor of winning will come from the attitude the team puts out on the field.
“We had a little bit better practice (on Wednesday morning),” Shrader said. “They started off a little tired because we got home late, but once we got going, our attitudes improved. Our team is historically notorious for playing well in big games and doing things when they need to. It’s a situation of a one-and-done, and this isn’t the way these girls want to go out.”
If the Demons defeat Fort Madison on Thursday, they will earn a berth to play Davenport Assumption on Saturday evening.