Softball opens Washburn Classic with two wins


Kohichiro Yamada

Washburn Ashton Friend (20) hits the home-run and smiles Feb. 26, 2022, Topeka, Kan. Friend had one home run in game one of the day.

After a 4-0 weekend at the ESU Classic, Washburn softball hosted the Washburn Classic for three days beginning Feb. 26.

The Ichabods began day one of the event with games against Wayne State College and the University of Mary, continuing on the success of the week before by picking up two wins in drastically different games.

“I thought the top half of our lineup struggled tonight and they really haven’t struggled much for us. But I thought the bottom half kind of picked them up,” said head coach Brenda Holaday. “They can’t be great every day out, so it was good to win when they were a little bit off.”

Game one of the day started with the Wildcats from Wayne State jumping out in front on a home run off of sophomore Jaycee Ginter in the first inning to go ahead 1-0.

Washburn responded back quickly, with a single from sophomore third baseman Marrit Mead, who stole second and advanced to third before sophomore shortstop Autymn Schreiner laid down a sacrifice bunt to tie the game.

Five of the next six batters reached base via walk or hit by pitch, scoring two runs with the bases still loaded. Next up, senior Hailey Neira lined a ball into left field for a single and an RBI.

A walk from Mead and Schreiner reaching via a hit by pitch completed a six-run first inning.

“They handed us some runs with all of those walks, but our kids were patient enough to wait for a good pitch and we got some timely hits,” Holaday said.

The Ichabods would tack on another run in the second inning on a solo blast from senior designated player Ashton Friend, continuing her pace from the past weekend.

“Just trying to keep myself relaxed and not chasing after pitches is what has been key for me,” Friend said.

Friend knocked in the next run of the game with a third inning sacrifice fly to score on Mead. Schreier also scored on a throwing error.

Just behind her, Ginter hit a solo shot into center field, helping her own cause and making it a 10-1 game.

The Ichabods did not stay quiet in the fourth inning either, beginning with a sacrifice fly from Mead to score on junior right fielder Maddie Stipsits, who had two hits in the game. Next up was freshman Jaden LaBarge pinch hitting for a two-run home run to make it 13-1 in the game.

Sophomore Ashlie Thissen came on to throw a scoreless fifth inning as the game came to an end via run-rule with Washburn on top 13-1.

All of the offensive support from game one was not there in game two against the Marauders of Mary University.

The first two innings were scoreless for either side as the Ichabods sent senior Raegen Hamm into the circle.

In the third, Washburn got a two out walk from Schriener, one of three in the game for her, before she stole second base. Sophomore second baseman Hadley Kerschen came through with a single into right field, one of only two hits in the game for the Ichabods, scoring Schriener and making it a 1-0 game.

That is all of the run support that was required, as neither team left more than one runner on base the rest of the way.

“I was kind of disappointed, I don’t think our kids adjusted very well … they were taking big long swings and big strides,” Holaday said. “Luckily, we scored a run.”

Hamm was dominant, allowing only three hits and one walk while recording a career-high 14 strikeouts in the game. Over half of the batters she faced were set down on strikes.

“It feels really good, I just had to trust my coaches to get there,” Hamm said. “That’s what it came down to was my coaches and my teammates.”

The game went the full-length with the Ichabods squeaking by with a 1-0 victory.

Washburn’s pitching trio of Ginter, Hamm and Thissen combined for 12 innings, allowing only one run and striking out 19 hitters on the day.

At the plate, both Mead and sophomore Kimi Patterson had two hits and two RBIs on the day while Schreiner reached base four times and brought home two.

The Ichabods will have two more games in the middle day of the Washburn Classic Sunday, Feb. 27.

Edited by: Ellie Walker, Glorianna Noland