Lady Blues blanked

As spring sports kick into full swing, the “Turnpike Tussle” once again took center stage last weekend.

The Emporia State University softball team came into Topeka ranked No. 16 in the country and left, at the very least, preserving its standing with a two-game sweep of the Lady Blues. The struggles of Washburn is mostly attributed to the offensive struggles that the team is going through as the team was held too no runs on just seven hits in the doubleheader.

“We have to find a way to score runs, said Lisa Carey, Washburn head coach. “Our big hitters aren’t coming through.”

In the first game, Washburn held the Lady Hornets at arms length, only giving up one run in the first three innings. The Lady Blues got some hitting from Marisa Tetuan, freshman, getting on base with a single in the first along with Lauren Himpel, sophomore, who also singled in the third inning. Alex Zordel, sophomore, added a double in the fourth inning as well. Washburn would stranding its runners as the Lady Hornets pitching proved difficult to overcome ESU would eventually wear down Washburn’s pitching effort by Lindsey Moore, junior, breaking out for three runs in the fourth inning and five runs in the fifth. The final in the first game would end up 9-0.

Washburn regrouped for the second game of the afternoon, as both teams faced off in a scoreless first four innings. The Lady Hornets got on the board in the top of the fifth inning with a leadoff homerun off of Washburn pitcher Kelsie Novotny, sophomore. Novotny only allowed one earned run and struck out three in seven innings of work. The Lady Blues gave up two unearned runs in the sixth inning. Katie Schroeder, freshman, Lauren Himpel, sophomore and Lindsey Moore and Marissa Martin, both juniors each had base hits for the Lady Blues.

With the doubleheader sweep by ESU, Washburn’s current losing streak in the “Turnpike Tussle” moves to 25 games. The Lady Blues hope to snap their losing skid against their next opponent, Pittsburg State University, on the road playing a doubleheader 3 p.m., April 8.