Pitching powers softball in day two of the Washburn Classic


Kohichiro Yamada

Washburn Authymn Schreiner (2) and Hadley Kerschen (6) run to the dugout Feb. 26, 2022, Topeka, Kansas.

After two wins on the first day of the Washburn Classic, Washburn softball was back in action for day two with two more games.

It would end the same as day one, with two more wins for the Ichabods, who would be just one day away from a perfect weekend.

The two games pushed the team’s winning streak up to nine games, matching the longest of the season before.

“It’s incredible, there is really no feeling like a winning streak,” said senior Ashton Friend. “This team is great, as long as we stay calm and know ourselves, I have a lot of faith we can keep it up.”

Game one of the day was against the University of Sioux Falls and was dominated by the long ball for Washburn, who hit three in the game.

First, it was sophomore shortstop Hadley Kerschen, who singled to score sophomore Marrit Mead in the first inning. In the second, sophomore pitcher Jaycee Ginter got the power started with a deep shot to center field to make it a 2-0 game.

Ginter was just as good in the circle, throwing all five innings of the game, allowing no runs and striking out nine batters to continue her stellar pitching season.

“I thought she was better today honestly,” said head coach Brenda Holaday. “She has been working hard on just command and location of some of her pitches, and I thought she was really smooth today.”

Senior designated player Ashton Friend picked up the next three RBIs in the game. The first came on a solo shot in the fourth. In the very next inning, she scored two more runs on a single.

Friend was brought home quickly, with freshman first baseman Jaden LaBarge sending a home run over the center field wall to make it 7-0.

Two batters later, junior right fielder Maddie Stipsits completed the scoring with a single to walk-off the game with an 8-0 run rule.

The combination of Friend and LaBarge stayed hot in the second game of the day, this time against the University of Minnesota Crookston.

The scoring started in the first inning, with both Kerschen and sophomore shortstop Autymn Schreiner reaching base before Friend hit another home run into center field.

LaBarge made it back-to-back with a full count blast into left-center to make it 4-0 after one inning of play.

“This is probably one of the best hitting teams I have ever been on and it’s awesome to know the people in front of you are going to get on … and the people behind you are backing you up,” Friend said.

The score got to 5-0 in the second inning after a single into right field from Schreiner, who reached base twice in the game.

In the circle, senior Raegen Hamm got the start and pitched into the fourth inning, allowing two runs and striking out four batters.

After the Golden Eagles scored two in the third inning, the Ichabods quickly regained momentum, scoring one in the bottom of the inning on a Stipsits single.

In the fourth, Ginter came on to replace Hamm and would finish out the games’ final three and two thirds innings, allowing no runs and striking out seven on the way to her ninth win of the season.

In the bottom of the fourth, Washburn added two more runs, the first coming on errors in the field from Minnesota-Crookston and the second on a single from sophomore first baseman Jenna Moore to give five different players RBIs in the game.

“We know that we’ve got a deep team, and we’ve got a lot of kids that can do things for us. When we have several of them contribute for us on the same day it makes the games a lot easier,” Holaday said. “It’s a lot of fun right now.”

That would be all the scoring as the Ichabods would close out the day with an 8-2 win.

Washburn will finish the final day of play with one game against Southwest Minnesota State University on Monday, Feb. 28.

Edited by: Ellie Walker, Glorianna Noland