Softball splits weekend games

Last weekend, Washburn got off the dime as the Lady Blues managed to pull off a split in the final non-conference softball tournament of the spring 2012 schedule.

Coming into the tournament, the Lady Blues had been unable to pick up a win against anyone in the Texas Woman’s University Tournament the previous weekend. Outscored 52-19 in five games, Washburn looked to bounce back in the Teri (Mathis) Zenner Memorial Tournament against a field of teams from throughout Texas and Missouri.

“We’re competing and learning a lot about who we are as a team,” said Washburn Head Coach Vanessa Bercerra.

First up on the agenda was Lindenwood University. Getting four innings from senior pitcher Lindsey Moore, Washburn managed to build up a 3-0 lead before Lindenwood finally broke through with a two run inning of its own. In the sixth inning, the Lady Blues responded with a five run outburst, finishing off the game 8-2.  Moore earned the win for the Lady Blues.

Washburn was led by sophomore second baseman Katie Schroeder and senior utility player Britny Cushing who each finished the first game with two hits. Cushing also scored twice in the contest, as well.

After getting off the losing streak the second matchup of the tournament would feature a backslide as the team took on the University of Central Oklahoma. Freshman pitcher Kayla Oldham started out in the pitcher’s circle, but would have a rough day of it as she gave up eight hits and four earned runs in two innings of play. Freshman pitcher Cori Munoz followed in relief, but would suffer the same fate giving up 10 hits and eight runs. Washburn finished the game on the short end of a 16-2 ball game.

On Sunday, St. Edwards University awaited the Lady Blues in the third of four scheduled matchups. Washburn stayed in the fight the entire game, taking a lead into the latter half of the affair before the Hilltoppers came back to tie the game in the fourth inning. The game continued to see saw back and forth as Washburn took back the lead briefly in the seventh inning, going up 5-4. However, in the eighth and final frame, St. Edwards would come on strong as Moore and Munoz would combine to give up 11 hits and seven runs—six of them earned—en route to the loss.

The rubber match of the tournament St. Mary’s took to the diamond in hopes of beating Washburn. However, Moore, having had a fairly successful tournament from the pitching circle, would go the distance, pitching seven innings. Moore spread out eight hits and three earned runs over the length of the game.

Sophomore first baseman Paige Hightower finished the game 2-for-3 with one RBI to lead the WU offensive efforts.

Going forward, Washburn will travel to Fort Hays State University March 10 to open up MIAA play. The Lady Blues will open its home conference schedule March 16 against Southwest Baptist University in a doubleheader.