Offense falters in Ichabod softball loss versus Fort Hays State

Get loose: Junior pitcher Raegen Hamm warms up before an inning to face the Fort Hays State University hitters.

After a brisk first game of the day that resulted in a win, the Washburn University softball team looked to sweep the day against Fort Hays State University. The 2-0 game win moved the Ichabod’s winning streak to nine games and the team’s overall record to 17-3 before the second game of the day.

The game got off to a slow start offensively, with each side failing to score in the first two innings. Junior Raegen Hamm started the game in the circle for Washburn and was strong early on, allowing only one baserunner through the first two innings.

The game would remain scoreless until the top of the fourth inning when the Tigers started to put something together for the first time that day as they collected five hits and a walk in the inning. That offensive outburst resulted in four runs, giving Fort Hays State a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning.

At the plate, Washburn’s offense just could not get going early on against Tigers pitcher Michaelanne Nelson. Through four innings the Ichabods had only one hit, courtesy of freshman shortstop Hadley Kerschen in the first inning, compared to six strikeouts.

“She (Nelson) is a good pitcher in this conference,” said Washburn Head Coach Brenda Holaday, “Our kids knew it, we told them she would be really tough.”

After coming in during the fourth inning freshman pitcher Ashlie Thissen calmed down the Tigers bats, finishing off the fourth, and threw an additional three scoreless innings striking out two batters.

Even with just one hit, Washburn had an opportunity to score in the top of the sixth inning. After senior center fielder, Brianna Fuchs led off the inning with a walk, a wild throw following a ground ball by freshman second baseman Jenna Moore took an unlucky bounce for the Ichabods and resulted in a double play.

In the bottom of the seventh Washburn got its second hit of the game, coming from junior designated player Ashton Friend, but it was not enough as the Ichabods fell 4-0. With the loss, the team’s season record still stands at a very respectable 17-4.

“We have had little winning streaks here and there but, in this conference, as a coach (Taylor) Zordel pointed out to them there are so many good teams, and the minute that you let up the other team will go around you,” said Holaday.

Washburn will have a chance to get back on track as they are in action on Gahnstrom Field again on March 27 when the University of Nebraska at Kearney visits for an afternoon doubleheader.

Edited by: Crystal Hendrix, Katrina Johnson, Simran Shrestha, Matthew L. Self