After seeing the Demons lose a game to a walk-off homer earlier in the week, Haylee Wilson won a game for Washington Thursday with a walk-off homer.
The three-run blast gave the Demons a 4-1 win in the Southeast Conference opener against Ft. Madison Thursday and they won the second game 4-3.
The Demons had not scored a run in the opener, but a stellar performance from Molly Sparks (nine hits, no walks and 11 strikeouts) kept Washington in the game.
With one out in the seventh, Cara Linnekamp and Sparks each singled, then Alexa Mitchell singled in the tying run, bringing Wilson to the plate.
It was a two-ball, two-strike count and Wilson had fouled off at least three pitches. She did not let the pressure get to her.
“I was just trying to focus on getting a base hit,” she said. “I have been struggling a little bit at the plate. I kept swinging at her rise ball. Sometimes I just get in my head so I need to not think when I am at the plate. That’s what I did when I hit that.”
She hit it and she hit it hard, hammering it over the leftfield fence.
“A senior came up in a big situation and came through for us,” WHS coach Ben Obermann said. “We stayed the course. Every at bat we had in the game was quality, we just didn’t get what we wanted.”
Before those four consecutive seventh-innig hits, the Demons had just two - a single by Kinsey Duwa and a double by Molly Sparks.
Sparks took a hard batted ball to her leg in the seventh inning then struck out the next two batters to end the frame.
“She is a tough kid. She had major back surgery in November,” Obermann said. “Nothing is really going to phase her. She left a lot of runners in scoring position. She’s got the right mentality that says she doesn’t care if runners are on, she is going to shut them down. She’s been through battles. She’s a senior leader and it was just an awesome outing for her.”
The Demons scored two runs in the first inning of the second game as Duwa led off with a double and scored on Kellie Dallmeyer’s single. Dallmeyer stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a groundout.
“Kellie is a great base runner,” Obermann said. ‘She is always trying to be aggressive and get an extra base.”
Kaitlyn Mitchell singled in two more runs in the fifth inning.
Alexa Mitchell gave up just two hits over the first five innings, but two singles in the sixth resulted in a run and three singles in the seventh yielded two more runs. Linnenkamp came in to get the last two outs.
“Alexa pitched great and Cara came in to a situation that was not easy,” Obermann said. “We got a lot of contributions from a lot of different girls. It was not our best night offensively in either game, but we’re going to have that during the course of a season. There are nights where you’re going to have to win it with pitching and defense and we did that.”
The Demons are 13-8 overall, 5-3 SEC and play at Fairfield (12-9, 7-1) Monday.