Softball sweeps Missouri S&T as Holaday picks up 500th win


Kohichiro Yamada

Brenda Holaday (left) and Marrit Mead (1) talks on third-base Mar. 5, 2022, Topeka, Kansas. Mead had two hits in the first game of the day.

Winners of 12 in a row, Washburn softball began another busy weekend at Gahnstrom Field with a Saturday doubleheader against Missouri S&T.

The Ichabods would continue the streak, extending it to 14 games with the team’s last loss back Feb. 12.

The win was also the 500th of head coach Brenda Holaday’s coaching career, including both high school and college.

“I don’t really take time to think about it often. I think the first thought in my mind is just how many incredible young ladies I have had the opportunity to coach,” Holaday said. “The people I have been able to be associated with through softball is who I think about the most.”

With the win, Washburn moves to 16-6 on the year, including 13-0 at home, with just one series left before the beginning of conference play.

Sophomore Jaycee Ginter began her day in the circle by striking out all three batters in the first inning. In the bottom of the inning, she got the Ichabods on the board with a double into right field, scoring sophomore Hadley Kerschen who had doubled.

The lead was extended in the second inning on a solo home run into centerfield off the bat of sophomore first baseman Jenna Moore.

Washburn continued its consistent scoring into the third inning. The first two came on Kerschen’s second double of the game. She was brought in on a single into center field from sophomore center fielder Kimi Patterson to make it 5-0.

The Ichabods had baserunners on each inning, but the score stayed that at 5-0 into the sixth inning. On the mound Ginter continued to cruise, allowing only three hits through the first five.

In the bottom of the sixth, the bases were loaded for Kerschen and she picked up her third RBI of the game with a ground ball to the right side.

“I think that we feed off of each other’s energy,” Kerschen said. “We have been on a roll lately and so the energy has really been carrying us through and it has been fun.”

Senior designated player Ashton Friend came up next, with a hard hit to shortstop that scored one run initially. An overthrow by the shortstop allowed Kerschen to come all the way around to score, walking off the game with an 8-0 win.

Game two of the day did not start as fast as the first. For Washburn, senior Raegen Hamm was in the circle and allowed only two hits through the first three innings.

Offensively, the Ichabods only managed one hit themselves through the first three innings. Midway through the top of the fourth inning, Hamm exited and was replaced by sophomore Ashlie Thissen, who finished the inning and kept the game scoreless.

The game did not stay scoreless for long. Kerschen singled with one out in the fourth inning and was brought home on Friend’s team, leading the eighth home run of the season to give a two-run lead.

“I was really pleased with today because those are two quality pitchers [we faced] and I thought we made some nice adjustments as the game went on which is something we have been working hard on,” Holaday said.

Thissen pitched around more trouble to get into the bottom of the fifth inning and keep the Miners scoreless.

“Other than maybe one or two hits they got were soft little hits so I thought our pitching was good. Defense was good, we made some nice catches in the outfield,” Holaday said.

Patterson singled to begin the bottom of the fifth inning and advanced to second with just one out. Batting from the leadoff position, sophomore third baseman Marrit Mead doubled to bring Patterson home.

Two batters later, Kerschen continued her strong day, picking up her third double and bringing home two more runs to close the inning with the Ichabods up 5-0.

After allowing two hits in the sixth inning Thissen exited and was replaced by Ginter in the circle. Ginter picked up where she left off in the first game, retiring the next three batters without allowing a run.

Washburn quickly loaded the bases with only one out the next time up. Sophomore left fielder Paige Robbins took advantage, lining a ball over third base to score two runs.

Two hitters later sophomore shortstop Autymn Schreiner lined a ball into center field for a single and an 8-0 walk off victory.

“Coach said in Arizona, ‘I want to be 15-6’ and here we are 15-6 we have had 14 straight wins and she called it, and she just got her 500th win and that is huge and I am so excited and proud of her,” Kerschen said.

They will have a quick turnaround, playing Truman State University in an afternoon doubleheader Mar. 6 to wrap up non-conference play.

Edited by: Glorianna Noland, Ellie Walker