By Dennis Glade
Washington Times Herald
WASHINGTON — It may have been Senior Night for the Washington softball team, but freshman first basemen Lauren White stole the show.
Washington (14-8, 4-2 Big 8) defeated Vincennes Lincoln (12-12, 3-3) 3-2 Tuesday evening at the Sports Complex.
The script looked to be written perfectly as senior starting pitcher Allexis Lemon took the mound in the top of the sixth with the Hatchets leading 2-1, only six outs away from capturing second place in the Big 8 Conference.
Unfortunately for Washington, no one told Vincennes Lincoln.
With two outs in the inning, Taylor Pinkstaff reached on an infield single, and Sophia Lane came on to pinch run. DJ Frederick stepped to the plate and laced an RBI double into the right centerfield gap, and just like that the game was tied at two. Lemon, however, would have her revenge in short order.
Lemon led off the bottom of the sixth with a double to the centerfield wall, and freshman Shylah Sama came on to pinch run. Sama immediately advanced to third on a wild pitch from Lincoln pitcher Leah Kays. After senior catcher Paige Hawthorne popped out to third base, White stepped to the plate and lifted a fly ball to leftfield, and Sama was able to tag up and score to give Washington its winning margin.
“I thought we played really well, and we executed when we had to,” said Washington coach Alan Lemon. “She (White) put the ball in play, we moved her up one spot in the order.”
White also accounted for the other two RBIs when she drove in Mattie Graber and Hawthorne with a two-out double in the first inning to give Washington a 2-0 lead.
Allexis Lemon went the distance for Washington once again, giving up five hits and striking out four. The four punch-outs was a low number for Lemon, but Alan Lemon said that was partly due to the Alices’ approach at the plate.
“They are good swingers,” Lemon said.
Senior Night is always an emotional experience, but this year was different with it being Lemon’s final year coaching. The team commemorated Lemon with a sign shaped as a softball honoring his experience since 1991. During the pregame ceremonies, seniors’ Allexis Lemon, Hawthorne and shortstop Ashlee Hayes were honored.
“This group of seniors has been with me for four years,” Lemon said. “They are hard workers, they come down here and they spend the time to make themselves better. I know it’s my last year, but you still hate to lose them. It’s not our last game, but still they’re seniors and the last game is really hard on you. Tonight I had a lot of my old players here, and I didn’t know that stuff was going to happen. It was nice just to see the kids, and some of them couldn’t make it. It was just a big win for us.”
Vincennes Lincoln 000 012 0 ¬ 2 5 0
Washington 200 001 x ¬ 3 4 2
Lemon and Hawthorne; Kays and Pinkstaff.
2B: (W) Lemon; (VL) Frederick, Nowakowski.