The game was decided by a senior’s heads-up baserunning on senior night.
Washington (20-4) was able to close out the regular season on a win at home against Union (14-8) Monday, 3-2.
The win ties Washington with the school record in wins. The team won 20 games in both 2016 and 2017 as well.
“This is the third year in a row this group of seniors has tied the school record for wins,” Washington Head Coach Phil King said. “Its nice that on senior night, this group of seniors did it.”
Union Head Coach Tiffany Poggas was encouraged by her team’s showing after a scoreless score into the fifth inning and after the Lady ’Cats responded to a pair of Washington runs in the bottom of the fifth with two runs of their own in the top of the sixth.
“They don’t quit,” Poggas said of her team. “They really do fight this year and they do a good job of battling. They do a good job and don’t quit and they find that drive to push across runs. I told them ‘Hey, we’ve got to push a couple of runs across. They scored a couple, now we’ve got to push a couple across,’ and they came through for us.”
With a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the sixth inning, Washington senior second baseman Lizzy Sontag singled to right field to lead off. She then went from first to third on a risky two-strike bunt by senior left fielder Sam Winistoerfer that paid off huge for the Lady Jays.
“She really focused there,” King said of Winistoerfer. “It’s not a play I like to call, but sometimes you have to and we’re 2-3 on the year when they have to focus down with two strikes and get it down.”
With Sontag now standing at third, Washington was able to pull off a squeeze bunt by senior catcher Payton Dubberke to plate the go-ahead run.
“It was nice and Payton did a good job on a squeeze bunt,” King said. “It’s nice to run a play like that an have it work.”
Washington used two pitchers in the contest, Ellie Quaethem and Maddie Holtmeyer. Quaethem pitched just three innings to remain fresh for the start of districts on Wednesday before giving way to Holtmeyer in a 0-0 tie.
“It’s always nice to win, but we knew it’s mostly important to get ready for districts,” King said. “I didn’t want to run Ellie for seven innings and these gave both of them a chance to get in there and practice since we hadn’t played since last Tuesday.”
Quaethem allowed two hits and struck out eight with one walk in her three shutout innings.
Holtmeyer earned the win, pitching four innings and allowing two unearned runs on three hits with two strikeouts.
“I really like playing them late in the season because it gives us a good view of a stronger team going into our postseason,” Poggas said. “We saw Ellie those first couple of innings pitching, so it’s nice to be able to see that and be able to make that contact and get some runners on. It gives the girls some confidence.”
Union pitcher Kelsie Hardester pitched the full contest kept the score tied at 0-0 through four innings. She finished with three earned runs on six hits allowed and one walk with eight strikeouts.
Sontag had two of the Washngton hits, both singles, and scored a run.
Caitlyn Vodnansky tripled and scored with a run batted in.
Payton Dubberke doubled and drove in a run. Her courtesy runner, Emma Vodnansky, scored.
Quaethem and Winistoerfer each singled.
Jessie Huxol reached on a walk.
Serving as a courtesy runner for the pitchers, Sarah Becszlko stole two bases.
Jenna Crider, Dubberke and Winistoerfer each laid down successful sacrifices.
For Union, shortstop Kaylee Bunch had two of the five hits, singling twice.
Adrianna Trenholm and Amanda Downing both doubled and Downing drove in a run.
Caroline Dunne also singled and picked up a sacrifice fly for an RBI.
Sydney Eads and Downing scored the two Union runs.
Hardester reached on a walk.
Washington begins its district journey Wednesday in Columbia at Battle. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Union finishes the regular season Tuesday in a make-up game at home against Warrenton at 4:30 p.m.