The Washington Lady Blue Lion varsity softball team opened the 2016 season on a chilly, overcast Monday, March 28 with a game at Southeastern High School (near Chillicothe).
Washington had to rally with three runs in the sixth inning to earn an 8-7 victory.
Kate Jude got the victory in relief. She pitched 2.2 scoreless innings, allowing one hit, issuing one walk and striking out two.
Ciera Strahler started and pitched the first 4.1 innings. She allowed seven runs (two earned) on seven hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
L. Cooper pitched for Southeastern, going seven innings with eight hits and eight runs (six earned). She walked five and struck out four.
Offensively for Washington, Maddy Helterbrand had two hits, drove in one run and scored three.
Jude was 2 for 4 with three runs batted in.
Washington began the game with three runs in the top of the first.
Southeastern scored two in the first and four in the second to take a 6-3 lead.
After a scoreless third inning, Washington pulled to within one run, scoring twice in the fourth.
Southeastern scored what would be its final run in the fifth inning.
Washington rallied with three in the sixth and kept Southeastern off the board in the seventh to seal the win.
“We kind of had to switch to small ball a little bit,” Washington head coach Randy Elzey said. “We got our bunts down and were able to advance runners.
“Kate Jude came in and shut them down,” Elzey said. “It’s nice to have two pitchers who throw two different kinds of balls. Ciera is more of an off-speed, move the ball around. Kate is more of a hard thrower. That worked well for us.
“Kate had a couple of nice hits for us,” Elzey said. “Maddy Jenkins, our freshman behind the plate, hit a double.
“All-in-all, it was a nice comeback win,” Elzey said.
Washington will continue its season-opening road trip at Clinton-Massie (defending SCOL champions) today. They will play at Paint Valley Thursday and at Chillicothe Friday.
The Lady Lions have their home-opener set for Monday against East Clinton at 5 p.m.
Offensively for Washington: Maddy Helterbrand, 2-4, 3 runs, 1 rbi, 1 sb; Brooklyn Wilson, 0-2, 1 run, 2 bb; Ciera Strahler 1-3, 2 rbi, 1 bb, 1 2b; Maddison Osborne, 0-0, 1 run; Wendy Hawk, 1-4, 1 rbi, 1 sb; Kate Jude, 2-4, 3 rbi; Kalee Crowe, 0-3, 1 rbi, 1 bb; Megan Tucker, 0-4; Taylor Harrington, 1-4; Maddy Jenkins, 1-2, 2 runs, 1 bb, 1 2b; Hailey Hartshorn (cr), 0-0, 1 run.
W 300 203 0 — 8 8 2
SE 240 010 0 — 7 8 3
Reach Chris Hoppes at 740-335-3611, ext. 1104, or on Twitter @choppes1