Demons end skid over weekend
Having lost eight of its last nine games, Washington softball needed to get some positive momentum going into the last week of the regular season.
This weekend may have been just what the doctor ordered as they picked up three wins in two days, defeating Davenport Central, West Burlington and Louisa-Muscatine and dropping a contest to Muscatine, the No. 6 team in 5A.
“I think it proves to the kids that if they want it, they can get it,” Demon softball head coach Angie Shrader said. “They wanted wins on Saturday and they kept playing until they got them. They buckled down and played really good softball. Whether it’s a turning point for us - obviously you want to be playing your best softball at the end of the season - we only have a week and a half left of regular season play.”
Friday saw Washington take on Davenport Central, and the Demons’ bats got off to a good start.
Washington got multi-hit games from Grace Redlinger, Anna Wheeler and Jessie Buchholz as the Demons notched 11 hits in the game, and picked up the 12-0 win in three innings.
Against a tough Muscatine team, Washington only managed four hits, as a four-run fourth inning by the Muskies put the 10-run rule into effect with a final score of 10-0.
On Saturday, both games were tight the entire way through.
Redlinger was perfect from the plate in the first game against West Burlington, going 4-for-4 with two doubles, two RBIs and three runs in the game.
“Grace Redlinger was on fire on Saturday,” Shrader said. “She was hitting the ball well and so was Stephanie Fishback. They were our first two batters in the eighth and we ended up scoring four runs in that inning. We had opportunities and it was a nice way to jump out on top.”
The Demons led much of the way in the contest with a two-run first inning, but in the bottom of the fifth, West Burlington plated two runs to tie the game up at 3.
Washington answered in the sixth with two more runs, but in the bottom of the seventh, West Burlington picked up another pair to send the game into extra innings.
In the eighth, Washington came through with four runs to clinch the victory as the road team 9-6 over West Burlington, then got into a battle with Louisa-Muscatine.
Tied 2-2 after seven innings, the Demons went into their second extra-inning game of the day. Each team plated a run in each of the eighth and ninth innings, before Washington managed to pick up two in the 10th.
Louisa-Muscatine scored one in the bottom of the 10th, but couldn’t tie it back up, and Washington completed the second-day sweep.
“On Friday, we won in three innings and Davenport Central had a few errors, but it felt good to get a few runs and get the bats going,” Shrader said. “With Muscatine we took too long to get the bats going, but I felt like they wanted to win those games on Saturday. We had our two extra-inning games and they didn’t give up and kept fighting. I think Saturday was a bigger difference than Friday’s first win.”
In the second game, Amber Linnenkamp pitched eight innings, only giving up two earned runs, but was not able to come away with a decision in the game.
“Amber pitched a phenomenal game,” Shrader said. “She had a one-hitter going into the sixth inning; and in the seventh, a three-hitter. It was a lack of defense that didn’t give her the support she needed to give her the win and that was frustrating because we didn’t need to be in the situation of going into extra innings with Louisa-Muscatine, and we just gave them things that we didn’t need to.”
Ashley Rausch pitched 14 innings over the weekend, picking up three wins, while giving up a total of two earned runs and striking out nine batters.
The Demons will travel to face Keokuk on Monday night in a conference doubleheader at 5:30 p.m.