Demons blast past Keokuk

Since dropping a Southeast Conference home doubleheader to Fairfield Thursday, Washington High School has won six straight games including a 6-0 win over Class 5A No. 12 Cedar Rapids Prairie Saturday and a sweep of Keokuk Monday 12-0 and 15-0.

“It was a great weekend,” Washington coach Ben Obermann said. “What I was most impressed with was our girls’ mentality. After maybe the lowest feeling you could have on Thursday night, I was so proud of how our girls quickly turned the page mentally and came out and competed against great competition. It was great to see, and it just shows how tough our girls are, to bounce back and play inspired softball. Hopefully this starts to propel us forward, to where we believe we are the best team each time we step on the field. It’s still early in the season, but this was our best weekend, tournament wise, in years.”

Obermann was impressed with the whole squad.

“It is hard to single out any one girl from this weekend, as it was a team effort from top-to-bottom,” he said. “We received four great pitching performances this weekend, with Molly (Sparks) beating Iowa City West, Alexa (Mitchell) beating North Scott and Mid-Prairie, and Cara Linnenkamp winning her game and shutting out a ranked CR Prairie team. Lineup wise, we did a nice job all weekend of grabbing an early lead, and expanding on that lead. Our top of the lineup was getting things started, and then our bottom of the lineup was doing an outstanding job of getting on and turning it over to the top. Hitting is contagious, and we saw a lot of timely hits this weekend. We still need to improve defensively, but we will get there. Even when we make mistakes, our girls bounce back the next pitch, and the more games we play, the less you’re going to see the defensive miscues.”

The Monday wins are especially telling since the Demons shared the conference title last season with Keokuk.

“We did a great job getting out of the gate in both games, putting pressure on the defense, and bringing in runners when we got them on base,” Obermann said. “The challenge always is to not let up after getting a big lead, and our pitchers and defense did a great job of not allowing that to happen. Good things happen when you have consistent hitting and play error-free softball the whole night. Our girls competed very well.”

Sparks pitched all three innigs of the 12-0 win with no walks, four strikeouts and two hits.

Linnekamp went 3 for 3 with six RBI on a double, a single and a home run. Kellie Dallmeyer was 2 for 2. Kinsey Duwa, Haylee Wilson and Sparks each hit a double.

Mitchell allowed two hits, two walks and fanned six in her five-inng win.

Sparks batted in five runs on 2 of 3 hitting. Dallmeyer, Mitchell and Wilson also had two hits apiece. Wilson had three RBI.

The Demons played a doubleheader at Class 4A No. 7 Oskaloosa Tuesday and lost both games by the scores of 10-0 and 8-5.

Washington is 7-5, 2-2 in the SEC with Mt. Pleasant coming to town Thursday for a doubleheader.