They called it redemption week.
Playing at the Ft. Zumwalt North Softball Tournament, the Washington Lady Jays captured the championship with a 6-4 victory over Ft. Zumwalt North Saturday in the title contest.
“Zumwalt North definitely was the team to beat in the tournament, considering the way we’ve played against them this season,” said Washington Head Coach Phil King. “I thought to have a chance, we’d have to beat them, 1-0. I’ll take 6-4. We played our small-ball perfectly and they couldn’t execute. Our defense was solid for the entire tournament.”
Washington (13-8) opened the event Friday with a 13-1 win over Winfield and knocked off Union Saturday in the semifinals, 7-4.
Earlier in the week, Washington won a GAC Central game over Holt, 5-4.
The Lady Jays had lost to all four of those opponents, Ft. Zumwalt North, Union, Winfield and Holt, earlier in the season. They’ve lost to Ft. Zumwalt North twice.
“That’s four wins in a row against teams that have beaten us this year. That’s why we called it redemption week,” King said. “We’re getting hot at the right time going into districts. Two tournament championships this season (also won the Union Tournament) is great. It’s been a good season.”
Courtney Kedroski blasted a pair of home runs on Saturday, one against Union in the semifinals, and another in the championship game against FZN.
Kedroski’s home run against Union gave her the school record for career RBIs, which currently stands at 66.
“I’m so excited that we won the tournament,” Kedroski said. “In all honesty, I didn’t know if we could beat this team, but I’m really glad that we did.”
Earlier in the season, MC Landolt broke the school record for career hits and Kaelie Smith broke the school mark for career walks.
“We have a great senior class,” King said. “Kaelie will finish second in career hits behind MC. I think Kaelie and MC will be one-two in runs scored.”
In the title contest, the Lady Jays did not face pitcher Shelby Clark, who has shut them out twice this season, including a perfect game at Lakeview Park.
Instead, Madeline Hlavaty pitched for the Panthers, who won the GAC Central title with an 8-0 record.
“I was surprised we didn’t see (Clark). They’ve hit us so hard this year, I’m sure they figured they could put up seven or eight runs regardless of who we had pitching,” King said. “If we were going to beat them only once, I’m glad it came in the championship game of their tournament.”
Kayla Pilgram was the starting pitcher for Washington in the title game. In three innings, she allowed four runs, one earned, on three hits with four walks and no strikeouts.
Kedroski tossed four scoreless frames in relief, allowing one hit with four walks and one strikeout.
At the plate, Kedroski had a home run and two hits to go with a walk, two RBIs and two runs.
Landolt collected one hit (double), three runs and one RBI.
Smith finished with one hit (double) and one run.
Elanna Osthoff had two RBIs and two stolen bases. Megan Micke was hit by a pitch.
Washington advanced to the championship game with a 7-4 win over Union.
Smith led the way at the plate with three hits, two runs and one RBI.
Kedroski added two hits with a home run, four RBIs and a run.
Landolt finished with two hits, two runs and one RBI.
Abbey Martin, Becca Daugherty and Micke each registered one hit. Daugherty and Micke both scored a run.
Brooke Smith was the starting pitcher and worked four innings. She allowed two runs on one hit with four walks and two strikeouts.
Katie Irwin worked the final three innings, allowing two runs on four hits.
Megan Freitag had three home runs and six RBIs in Friday’s 13-1 win over Winfield.
“Megan had a huge game with three home runs,” King said.
Kaelie Smith added a grand slam home run, finishing with two hits, a walk, four RBIs and four runs.
Kedroski collected two hits, three RBIs, two runs and three stolen bases.
Landolt had one hit (double), one RBI and one run.
Brooke Smith had one hit (double) and scored two runs.
Lilli Mantle registered one hit and one walk.
Daugherty and Martin both walked and scored.
Pilgram pitched all five innings, allowing one run on three hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
“One thing this team is really good at, no matter what the score, is they don’t quit,” King said. “You can’t teach or coach that. We just keep going and going until that final out.”