Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
FAIRFIELD — Coaches fear walks will get them beat. Triskaidekaphobia is the fear of the number 13.
Thursday in a Southeast Conference softball doubleheader, there were 13 walks in the first game, and there were 13 walks in the second game. Fairfield issued 19 of those walks to Washington and won both games. Trailing 8-0 after the second inning, the Trojans won 13-9. Fairfield took a 6-0 lead in the second inning and won the second game 10-3.
“I am trying to remember in my 40 years of coaching if I ever got behind 8-0 and won,” said Fairfield head coach Bob Bradfield, who has a career record of 1,061-662.
Fairfield junior third baseman Jenna Norris said it was important not to be disappointed when trailing by so much.
“I try to stay positive, keep my team up so they know we can get our bats going and have our pitchers’ backs,” Norris said. “And we did that.”
Fairfield erased the eight-run lead with 13 hits in the third inning, scoring all 13 runs of its runs.
Washington’s Isabella Salazar walked three with four strikeouts and 19 hits in Game 1. Halle Cuddeback gave up 14 hits with four walks in Game 2. Elyse Hunt led the Demons at the plate with two hits in the first game. Salazar had one in each game.
In the first game, Coty Engle issued eight walks until Bradfield lifted her for Bailey Hird with one out in the second inning. Engle didn’t allow a hit and struck out all four of the outs.
Engle started the second game and gave up six free passes until Bradfield brought Hird in with two outs in the third inning. Engle surrendered one hit with seven of the eight outs by strikeout. Hird finished both games. She gave up six hits and two runs with two walks to win the first game and three hits and three walks to win the second.
“Coty had a rough night and fortunately Bailey came through and did a great job,” Bradfield said.
The walks didn’t affect Engle’s hitting from the leadoff spot in the batting order. She was 3-for-4 with a double, then went 5-for-5. Her batting average of .554 this season is fifth in Class 4A, her 53 runs scored are third and her .672 on base percentage is second.
Hannah Simpson and Brynley Allison were 3-for-4. Simpson brought home five Trojans runs in the opener. Simpson’s 53 RBIs are second in 4A. Allison was 2-for-4 in Game 2. Allison is fifth in 4A with sacrifice bunts.
Norris went 3-for-5 in Game 1 then had a double and a home run in Game 2. “I had my timing down and found pitches I could hit,” she said. “The home run pitch was just thrown right in my sweet spot.”
Washington (18-16) is 10-7 in the league while Fairfield (20-12) is 12-4 to Burlington’s 15-2.