Washburn softball walks-off and run-rules Lions in doubleheader sweep


Kyle Manthe

Washburn’s team celebrates on the field after winning game one April 15, 2022. Washburn swept Missouri Southern on the day.

A five run bottom of the seventh rally to walk-off game one propelled Washburn softball to a sweep over Missouri Southern April 15.

“I just let them play,” said head coach Brenda Holaday. “I was sort of curious to see how they would respond with that much pressure on them in the last inning and they did really well.”

The 5-4 decision in game one was followed by an 11-3 six-inning contest in game two, moving the Ichabods to 34-11 on the year. It also grew the teams winning streak to 14 games, the second time this season a winning streak has reached that length.

“I see that stuff on social media [about the streaks] and people ask but at least for me as a coach it really doesn’t mean anything to me,” Holaday said. “I think our kids are just trying really hard to be ready every game.”

Washburn moved to 16-2 in MIAA play while the home record stayed perfect at 20-0.

Sophomore Jaycee Ginter started perfect in the circle, keeping the Lions off the basepaths for the first four innings, striking out three in the process.

At the dish, Ginter managed one of only two hits for Washburn through the first four innings, the other coming from sophomore Marrit Mead.

In the fifth inning, Missouri Southern picked up two one-out singles, putting runners at the corners. Junior Maddie Stipsits made a diving play on a fly ball in right field, keeping the runners in place.

During the next at bat, the runner at first base took off towards second. While throwing to second, the runner at third was able to come home and score the game’s first run.

Later in the at bat, a double was shot into left field, scoring a second run and putting the Lions up 2-0.

The Ichabods remained without a run through the first six innings. In the top of the seventh, a walk in a single put two runners on before a double was hit down the right field line to score one more for Missouri Southern.

A sacrifice fly put the Lions up 4-0 heading into the last at bat for Washburn.

In the seventh, Ginter led off with a single, which was followed up by a home run from senior Ashton Friend that hit off the scoreboard in right field, cutting the lead in half.

A walk by sophomore Hadley Kerschen and a double from sophomore Autymn Schreiner put two in scoring position. Freshman Jaden LaBarge continued the rally, chopping a single into center field, scoring both runners to tie the game.

Two batters later, Mead lined a ball down the right field line into the corner, scoring LaBarge to walk-off with a win and complete the five-run comeback win.

“I would say we are a team that doesn’t give up until the end,” Mead said. “I was just trying to get it on the right side so that our runners could move and score”

Ginter earned the game one win, her 22nd of the year, most in all of Division II.

Junior Ashlie Thissen got the start in game two, throwing a scoreless first three innings, capped off by a throw down to second base by freshman Kaylee Wagner to knock down a would-be base stealer.

In the third, Kerschen walked and Mead stayed hot with a single to put two runners on. Sophomore Paige Robbins followed with a double into left field, scoring the first run of the game.

Ginter followed with a looping single into center field, scoring Mead and moving to second on the throw. Friend finished off the inning with a groundout to the right side, scoring Robbins to complete the three run inning.

That is how the score stayed until the fifth inning. A pair of hits from the Lions put runners on second and third base. A fly ball deep into the right field corner was caught, allowing both runners to come home and score on the play, cutting the lead down to one run.

The Ichabods got back those runs and more in the bottom of the inning. It was Kerschen and Mead who started again, this time with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Ginter singled into center field, scoring Kerschen.

A walk from Friend loaded the bases for LaBarge who singled into left field, scoring two more runs. A sacrifice fly from junior Kimi Patterson added another run to the board, making it 7-3 after five innings.

Thissen finished after 5.1 innings thrown, striking out two on the day. Ginter took over in the circle, with two runners on base. Missouri Southern got a single, scoring one run to cut the lead to four runs before Ginter closed the inning.

Kerschen, Mead and Robbins loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth, two batters later Friend walked to bring home one run. LaBarge continued her productive day with a single to right field, scoring two more runs.

Schreiner singled to bring up Patterson who followed with a single of her own, scoring Friend to end the game after six innings with an 11-3 win for Washburn.

“I think that second game might be as well as we have played all year,” Holaday said. “We still had a couple of mis-queues on defense but I thought we were really tough at the plate.”

Thissen picked up the win, moving to 4-0 on the year. LaBarge had three hits and four RBIs in game two while Mead followed up her walk-off with three more hits.

“Energy carries and we took it with us in the second game, and made it a lot easier when we all hit,” Mead said.

The Ichabods will look to stay undefeated at home with a doubleheader against Pittsburg State Saturday, April 16.

Edited by: Alyssa Storm, Glorianna Noland