Softball sweeps doubleheader
The Mt. Pleasant softball team forced extra innings in game two and threatened in game one, but both times the Panthers came up short against Southeast Conference rival Washington in last night’s doubleheader in Mt. Pleasant.
Washington (5-8, 4-4 SEC) took game one by a score of 4-1, and they claimed a 4-3, eight-inning victory over the Panthers (5-8, 1-4 SEC) in game two.
“We started the (second) game well; we just couldn’t get a clutch hit,” Mt. Pleasant Coach Troy Mears said.
Meanwhile, coming back with the winning run after giving up the lead provided a big boost for Washington.
“It’s a huge momentum boost, a confidence boost,” Coach Angie Shrader said. “We can start to play a little more relaxed.”
The Demons have also been more confident, which showed in their play against Mt. Pleasant.
“I think we have a lot of confidence behind (pitcher) Ashley (Rausch) — they know she’s throwing well now; both of our pitchers are throwing well now,” Coach Angie Shrader said. “We’re also getting confident in (the field), so (our pitchers) can have confidence in the defense.”
In the opener, Rausch allowed seven hits and walked just one batter. She struck out nine.
“They fooled us with the change up — we’ve got to stay back,” Mears said. “I don’t want to take anything away from (Rausch) — she’s a good pitcher — but I think we could have scored more runs than we did.”
The Panthers scored their only run in game one with the pressure on in the seventh inning. Down 4-0 with the bases loaded and just one out, Julie Lasswell crossed the plate on a Washington error — but the Demon defense held strong after that, catching back-to-back fly balls to end the game.
For their part, the Demons were led in game one by Grace Redlinger, who went 3-for-4 with two doubles and run knocked in.
Chayse Jaspering had a pair of hits; Jessie Buchholz and Amber Linnenkamp each knocked in a run.
In game two, the Panthers again found themselves trailing in the seventh frame — but this time, they made good on their threat.
Jena Stukerjurgen had a hit and went to second on an error, and courtesy runner Kaley White scored on a hit by Lauren Ralls. Ralls came around to score on Julie Lasswell’s two-out, two-strike hit to right-center field, which tied the game at 3-3. Lasswell was left stranded, and the game went into extra innings.
That would prove fatal for the Panthers, as Washington scored the winning run on a Mt. Pleasant error to seal the sweep.
In game two, Redlinger again went 3-for-4; Rausch, Buchholz and Kayla Andrew each had a pair of hits. Rausch had a double and two RBIs.
On the mound, Linnenkamp allowed eight hits and gave up one walk over 6 2/3 innings. She struck out two Panthers. Mackendzie Knutson pitched in relief, giving up one hit and striking out two in 1 1/3 innings. Knutson got the win.