WU softball keeps strong season going against ESU

Taking off: Junior outfielder Samantha Stallbaumer takes third base to score in another run against Emporia State at the Washburn Softball Complex.

Trevor Beurman

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The Washburn softball team opened up another conference series against the Emporia State Hornets with two games March 30, and another two games March 31.

The first game March 30 was 4 p.m. started out slowly for both teams as they looked for offensive momentum. Eventually, the Ichabods were the first to hop on the scoreboard with a solo home run from junior infielder Savannah Moore.

This opened up the rest of the scoring for the Ichabods as they began to add on runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Emporia State had no answer for the Ichabods as they failed to get their offense going.

Some notable performances in this game came from Moore, with three at-bats, two runs, two hits, and one RBI; freshman catcher Brianna Francis, with three at-bats, two hits and one RBI; and junior outfielder Emilee Baker, with four at-bats, one run, one hit and one RBI.

The Ichabods were the victors in this first matchup with a 4-0 final score.

The 6 p.m. game was a very similar contest to the day’s first. Washburn got their bats going early with an RBI single from Francis that brought in runs from both Baker and junior outfielder Samantha Stallbaumer.

The third inning was where the Ichabods sealed the deal. In the third, Washburn scored four hitters to set the score at 6-0 and after that, surrendered only one run.

Notable performances from the day’s second game came from the same crew as in the first game. Stallbaumer raked in four at-bats with two runs and three hits; Francis brought four at-bats with one run, three hits and one RBI; among other contributors.

This game ended with a Washburn victory as well, and was the first time Washburn has taken a double header from the Hornets since 2002, posting a final score of 6-1. The Ichabods at 1 p.m. to the field March 31 for the final two games against the Hornets in this series.

The first game was an Ichabod slugfest. Washburn scored all eight of their runs in the first two innings, enacting the run-rule on the Hornets by the fifth inning. The final score was 8-0 with great performances across the board.

Great performances came from Moore, with three at-bats, two runs, two hits and four RBIs; senior outfielder Maddie Anderson also contributed with two at-bats, two hits, and one run.

The Ichabods then faced ESU in the final game of the series at 3 p.m. The Hornets were now 0-3 in the entire series, but they would not walk away without a battle in the final game.

The Ichabods fought a tight contest with the Hornets, and the scoring went back and forth with the Hornets scoring in the first, second, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings, and with Washburn answering back with scores in the second, fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

One answer from the Ichabods was a game-tying two-run homer from freshman designated hitter, Lenae Salinas.

“[The two-run homer] was really big. I think that it did give us some momentum and we wanted to come back, but some things do not go the way you want them to,” Salinas said.

That was in fact the case against the Hornets as the Ichabods battled to the very end, yet came up short with 7-9 final score.

“It is mostly a mental state. I get in the box and say ‘I’m not going to let this pitcher take over,’” Francis said.

Up next for the Ichabods is a series against University of Nebraska at Kearney with games at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Friday, April 6. The Ichabods will look to stay on top in MIAA rankings with wins Friday against the Lopers.