WASHINGTON — After a softball doubleheader that ended after to 10 p.m. Monday, it’s hard to pinpoint a momentum change in the course of a night that saw Washington lose two Southeast Conference games when the opponent scored a total of 31 runs.
It is possible that the way things started affected the way the rest of the night went as the Demons dropped a 14-2 decision to the visitors from Fort Madison in the first game and lost 17-16 in the second game.
“For us, the game starts in the circle and defensively. We cannot give up so many freebases. Our pitchers are struggling right now. We have to throw strikes. We have to make plays. We can’t beat ourselves. We keep putting ourselves in tough situations where we have to score a bunch of runs.
That is not a good strategy to live on in softball.”
In the four-inning loss, the Demons gave up five doubles, two homers and walked eight with two errors. In the second game, Washington gave up a homer, six errors, 10 walks and 12 hits.
It was hard to foresee that outcome with the way the opener began. The visitors went down in order in the top of the first inning with a strike out and a line out that created a double play.
Washington‘s leadoff hitter, Kinsey Duwa, stepped up to the plate and cracked a home run for a 1-0 led lead. Three straight singles followed and a hit batter plated a second run. It seems a third run scored on a wild pitch, but as the ball caromed off the fence, it hit the batter’s foot before Kellie Dallmeyer crossed the plate. The umpire called Dallmeyer out. A pop-up and a ground out followed. The demons did not score the rest of the game and it seemed to affect not only the night’s momentum but the Demons’ energy as well.
“We’ve get that funky call at home and who knows if it’s the correct ruling or not,” Obermann said. “It did kind of kill our momentum, but we have to find a way to rise above that. That’s what good teams do. That’s what we want to be. We just did not do that. Maybe we get three or four more in that inning and it’s a different story.”
The story was all of the freebases gifted.
“That will come back and bite you,” Obermann said. “Offensively, we were fine except the last two innings (of the second game). I would’ve liked to have seen better approaches at the plate.”
In the nightcap, Dallmeyer was 2-for-4 with four runs batted in and Duwa was 2-for-4 with two RBI. Alexa Mitchell was 2-for-3 with two RBI as was Cameron Malichky.
“I have to admire the fight in our kids offensively because 16 runs should be enough to win any game,” Washington head coach Ben Obermann said. “We have to make more plays defensively. All that is left to do is to get better.”
There was a bright spot for the Demons in freshman pitcher Haley Mitchell, who pitched 2 2/3 innings in her first varsity appearance.
“I have to give her lot of credit,” Obermann said. “She did give up some hits and runs but she threw strikes. If you throw strikes, good things happen. We weren’t planning on using her. She was on the bus to Fort Madison for the JV game but it got canceled. We were lucky to have her.”
Trailing by just a run, the Demons went down in order the last two innings.
“Inconsistency right now is the name of our season,” Obermann said.