WASHINGTON — There are some new names making a difference for the Washington High School softball team.
In Tuesday’s 3-2 and 7-6 doubleheader sweep of visiting Iowa City Regina, junior Anna Venenga had the game winner in the first game with a one-out walk-off single. In Game 2, sophomore RyLee Fishback had the game winner with a two-out, three-ball, two-strike full count walk-off single.
“What great team wins. Offensively, we are starting to come around,” Washington head coach Ben Obermann said. “We are still tinkering a little bit with our batting order, to try and get the right pieces in the right spot, to where we are balanced and most dangerous.”
Regina’s record fell to 6-8 while Washington is 6-9.
Venenga also had a double in Game 1 as did Cameron Malichky while Kellie Dallmeyer was 2-for-4. Cara Linnenkamp got the 3-2 opener win with a three-hitter and three strikeouts but eight walks.
“Cara was solid in the first game, and really battled,” Obermann said. “She didn’t have her best stuff and had to overcome some walks, but she did a great job finishing. She’s had some tough luck losses recently and it was nice to see her come away with a ‘W’ in the circle.”
Emmy Wenger, an eighth-grader, has been the pitcher in Washington’s last two Game 2s, both wins. She did not walk a batter, gave up six hits, three earned runs and struck out five against Regina.
“What has impressed me the most about her so far is her ability to throw a variety of pitches for strikes,” Obermann said. “She has done a great job with location for her first two outings. Against Regina, she had to battle some adversity as well, and it did not faze her. She showed great mental toughness and gave us a chance to win.”
Venenga had two doubles and three runs batted in while Dallmeyer and Kaitlyn Mitchell each had two hits.
“We’re starting to get back to continuous hitting,” Obermann said. “Our hitters the last three games have competed exceptionally well, which is what I’ve been looking for.”
When hitters go deep into counts and have quality at-bats it puts the pressure on pitchers and the defense.
“If we can continue on that path, we are going to reach our capabilities as a team,” Obermann said. “We are starting to see our pitching staff settle in and our defense is getting stronger.”