Demons win home tournamentWashington defeats IMS and No. 14 Sigourney to take the tourney title
No. 12 Washington bounced back from a disappointing doubleheader split with Fort Madison on Thursday night to win its home softball tournament on Saturday.
The Demons defeated IMS 6-2 in their first-round game, and then topped Sigourney, the 14th-ranked team in Class 1A, 6-3 in the championship game of the Washington Invite.
“We played well this weekend,” Washington head coach Angie Shrader said. “It felt like we were having some fun and playing a little relaxed. That showed in our two wins.”
Junior Ashley Rausch got the Demons off to a good start against IMS when she belted a two-run home run in the top of the first inning to put Washington on top 2-0.
“Ashley’s been hitting the ball extremely well,” Shrader said. “That just kind of set the tone for the game.”
From there, Rausch was in control. She gave up two runs, one of which was earned, on six hits in the game. She struck out seven batters and walked two.
“Ashley threw well,” Shrader said. “She had seven strikeouts and only walked two, which was nice to see. We only had one error in the game. We played pretty good ball. I thought the girls looked relaxed and were back to playing like we played last year.”
Washington added to its lead when senior Maddie Bohr hit an RBI double in the fifth inning, but IMS responded with a run in the bottom of the frame when sophomore Demi Brezina hit an RBI single. The Demons scored three more runs in the seventh inning on RBI doubles by Bohr and senior Kaitlin Buchholz, and junior Stephanie Fishback hit a sacrifice fly. IMS junior Jacayla Litwiller drove in a run with her double in the bottom of the seventh, but the Demons were able to hang on for the win.
Rausch went 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run and two RBIs, and Bohr was 2-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored and two RBIs. Buchholz went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles and an RBI, and Fishback was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Junior Chayse Jaspering and sophomore Kolbi Breard added hits for Washington.
Junior Casey Perez went 3-for-3 with a double to lead IMS (5-9) at the plate. Brezina went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, and Litwiller had a double and an RBI. Senior Laura Hochstetler took the loss for IMS, as she gave up six runs, five of which were earned, on nine hits. She struck out four batters and walked one.
The Demons also jumped out to a quick lead in the championship game against Sigourney, scoring a run in the first inning on Buchholz’s RBI double. Sigourney (11-4) scored three runs in the top of the third inning to take a 3-1 lead, but Washington tied the game in the bottom of the frame on Rausch’s two-RBI double.
Then Washington used a big fifth inning to take a 6-3 lead. With two outs, senior Sammy Ellingson doubled, and Buchholz followed with an RBI triple. Rausch drove in a run with a single, and then Fishback hit an RBI triple.
Buchholz went 3-for-3 with a triple and an RBI to lead the Demons at the plate, and Rausch was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Fishback went 2-for-3 with a triple and an RBI. Ellingson added a double, and Bohr also had a hit.
Bohr started the game in the pitcher’s circle and gave up three runs, one of which was earned, on four hits. She struck out four batters and walked two. Rausch got the win in relief, throwing five shutout innings. She allowed just three hits while striking out four batters and walking one.
“Sigourney is a good team,” Shrader said. “I think our kids played well all the way around. We hit the ball well and our pitchers threw well. Defensively, we didn’t have any errors. Sigourney is a ranked team, and it was nice for us to get a home win on Strikeout Cancer day. I thought the kids did well.”
Shrader said that the tournament, which was also the Demons’ Strikeout Cancer event, raised over $1,000 for Relay For Life.
The Demons return to action tonight when they travel to No. 15 Fairfield (17-3, 6-2 Southeast Conference) for a key conference doubleheader. The Demons (12-4, 6-2 SEC) swept Fairfield in Washington on May 29, but lost to the Trojans in the championship game of the Fairfield Invite on June 8.
“We just have to go out and play our game and not worry about the pressure that there could be,” Shrader said. “I think the pressure is on Fairfield. They’re the ones with a 14-game winning streak. The last time they lost, it was to us. This is an important conference game, but it’s not going to make or break our season or make or break our chances of winning conference. But I think if the kids play like they did this weekend we’ll go down to Fairfield and have two good ballgames.”