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Washington capped its historic varsity softball season with a fourth-place finish in Class 4 at the MSHSAA Softball Championships on Friday, Oct. 21, at Killian Sports Complex in Springfield.
The Lady Jays dropped decisions of 10-3 to Blue Springs South in the semifinals and 2-0 to Lee’s Summit West in the third-place game.
It was the first time in the history of the softball program that Washington reached 20 wins and won a district championship. The team carried that momentum all the way to the state tournament, defeating Marquette in the sectional round and Seckman in the quarterfinals.
Varsity team members are Jena Monehan, Caitlyn Vodnansky, Grace Evans, Ashley Molitor, Sarah Becszlko, Nichole Brinker, Payton Dubberke, Jenna Crider, Julia Gerling, Ellie Quaethem, Maddison Missey, Libbie Harrison, Emma Turner, Emma Piar-Shaw, Jessie Huxol, Jessica Miller and Taylor Hendrix.
WHS softball coaches are Phil King, Dane Gough, Chris Buenniger and Grant Young.
Photos from Washington’s games at the state tournament are below.
The 2016 GAC Central all-conference softball teams have been released.
League coaches made first- and second-team selections.
Three Washington players were recognized, two on the first team and one on the second team.
Washington’s first-team selections were junior outfielder Nichole Brinker and junior pitcher Taylor Hendrix.
Named to the second team was freshman pitcher Ellie Quaethem.
Washington players named to the GAC Central all-academic team were Sarah Becszlko, Payton Dubberke, Libbie Harrison, Jessie Huxol, Jessica Miller, Ashley Molitor, Emma Piar-Shaw, Ellie Quaethem, Caitlyn Vodnansky and Nichole Brinker.
Representing Washington on the GAC Central sportsmanship team was senior Libbie Harrison.
Click on the attached links below to see the complete GAC Central all-conference softball teams and academic teams.
See the photos below of GAC Central first-team all-conference players and the Washington selections.
First Team Pitcher
First Team Outfielder
Second Team Pitcher
Washington has punched its ticket to the MSHSAA Softball State Championships.
For the first time in school history, the Lady Jays softball program advanced to the state semifinals with a 4-3 quarterfinal victory over Seckman in nine innings Saturday, Oct. 15, at Seckman High School.
Washington (20-8) will play Blue Springs South (26-4) in the Class 4 semifinals Friday, Oct. 21, at 2 p.m. at Killian Sports Complex in Springfield.
Troy (28-3) and Lee’s Summit West (24-7) meet in the other Class 4 semifinal game, also Oct. 21 at 2 p.m. The third-place contest is Friday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. The championship game is Saturday, Oct. 22, at 4 p.m.
Washington’s Taylor Hendrix pitched all nine innings to earn the win in the quarterfinal game.
The Lady Jays broke a 1-1 tie with three runs in the top of the ninth inning to make the score 4-1. They scored two of those runs on bunts by Libbie Harrison and Sarah Becszlko.
Seckman made the score 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning and had the tying run on second base with no outs, but couldn’t push that run across.
Washington stopped a squeeze bunt attempt to retain the lead.
The Lady Jays played great defense in the game, particularly in the bottom of the fourth inning, where Seckman had the bases loaded with no outs.
Becszlko, a freshman, caught a fly ball in left field and fired it home to nail the Seckman runner at the plate, who was tagging up from third base. Washington catcher Jessica Miller applied the tag to complete the double play.
The next batter lifted a short fly ball to center field, where Washington’s Nichole Brinker raced in and made a diving catch to save two runs and end the inning.
Washington Head Coach Phil King and players Grace Evans, Libbie Harrison, Brinker and Hendrix talked about the game on video following the game. Click here to see the video.
Photos from Washington’s quarterfinal win over Seckman are below. Click on the attached links below for a video of the coaches and players interviews following the game, the Class 4 softball bracket and information on the MSHSAA softball championships.
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