The weather was cool, the wind was blowing, but that didn’t slow the Washington softball team’s bats.
The Hatchets won their fourth straight game by defeating Loogootee, 6-4, Friday at the Sports Complex behind 11 strikeouts from senior pitcher Allexis Lemon.
Loogootee caught the momentum early when Loogootee shortstop Gabrielle Ritchey tripled over the head of centerfielder Brenda Santos. After Lemon struck out Paige Walton, Madison Zins scored Ritchey on an RBI groundout to second and the Lions had a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, the Hatchets rebounded in a big way. Four the first five batters to come to the plate scored for Washington, which had only one hit in the inning. The Hatchets stole two bases, while Loogootee committed three errors in the inning, as Washington took a 4-1 lead into the second.
“We went down one run in the first and didn’t drop our head,” said Washington coach Alan Lemon. “We came back and played good ball in the bottom of that inning and got four runs.”
In the third inning, Ritchey led off with another hit, this time a single.
Ritchey, who broke the state record for stolen bases in a career of 136 last week - stole second - her 142nd career steal. After Walton’s second strikeout of the game, Zins reached on an infield single to shortstop, which scored Ritchey for the second time. Zins would come around to score and cut the lead to 4-3 on an error by secondbasemen Carrie Lane.
Washington answered in the bottom of the third with two more runs to push its lead to three runs again. Lemon doubled to left field, and her pinch runner Shylah Sama moved to third on a wild pitch, and scored the Hatchets’ fifth run of the afternoon on an infield single by Paige Hawthorne.
Hawthorne would come around to score on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 6-3.
Friday’s result was another page in what was a difficult week for the 2-5 Lions. Loogootee coach Greg Clark said his team is a work in progress and they will continue to fight through the schedule.
“I’m not making excuses, but we had two kids that had their grandfathers pass away, so it made it kind of tough this week,” Clark said. “We got some kids playing out of position, but that’s still no excuse to come out not ready to play.” The teams would trade zero’s on the score board until the top of the seventh. Two Washington errors allowed Loogootee to manufacture the fourth run of the game, but Lemon's 11th strikeout of the game shut the door on a Hatchet victory. Alan Lemon was proud of his team’s resiliency throughout the game, and what it means for the Hatchets going forward.
“That's the good learning experience that we’re trying to get,” Lemon said. “Wins and losses - yeah we like the wins, but what we’re really working for is later in the year. We’d like to win a sectional.”
Loogootee 102 000 1 - 4 4 3
Washington 402 000 x - 6 7 5
Bridges and Graber; Lemon and Hawthorne. W-Lemon L-Bridges
2B: (W) Lemon (2) 3B: (L) Ritchey