FAIRFIELD — It is becoming a recurring theme for the Washington High School softball team.
Give a team extra outs and it will find a way to win.
Southeast Conference opponent Fairfield edged Washington twice Monday, 4-3 and 5-3.
“Give Fairfield credit, as they took advantage of our defensive miscues to take both games,” Washington coach Ben Obermann said. “I’ve got to do a better job of putting our girls in game-like situations in practice because in the majority of our losses, it comes down to us not making the plays on the defensive side. We’re getting better, but we’re not there yet.”
Molly Sparks gave up just three hits and a walk while striking out five in four innings. Only one of the two runs scored against her were earned. Cara Linnenkamp tossed the final two innings and gave up two hits and no walks. She fanned one. Only one of the two runs scored against her were earned.
Alexa Mitchell threw 4 1/3 innings with four hits, three walks and a strikeout. Only one of the five runs scored on her was earned. Sparks threw the final 1 2/3 innings and surrendered a lone hit.
“Our pitchers did a great job keeping us in the game in both games, but it boils down to rising up and making the plays when they matter most,” Obermann said. “If you consistently give teams extra outs to work with like we have this season, it’s going to cause inconsistent play. You can’t consistently win when committing three-plus errors a game.”
Good teams recognize weaknesses and work to make them strengths.
“We have the makings to be a good defensive team and there is still time to get there, and it starts with me, creating more game situations in practice,” Obermann said.
The Demons have been strong at the plate this season, but struggled against the Trojans.
“Offensively, we battled, but struck out too many times (Monday),” Obermann said. “I thought our approaches were better than the first time around against Fairfield, but we have too good of hitters to only score three runs in each game.”
In the first game, the demons took a 3-1 lead in the third inning as Haylee Wilson batted in two runs and Mitchell one on a double. Wilson was 2 of 3 in the game.
In the second game, the Demons trailed 5-0 after four innings, but scored twice in the fifth inning and once in the seventh. RyLee Fishback was 2 of 3.Dallmeyer was 2 for 4 with a run batted in. Kinsey Duwa batted in a run.
“It’s a disappointing outcome, but our goal is still to improve each day, and while it may be hard to see right now, we are improving, maybe not exponentially, but there has been growth,” Obermann said. “We just need to stay the course.”
Washington is 13-10 overall and 5-5 in the SEC. The Demons play at Mid-Prairie today.