Washington earned its first ever share of the Gateway Athletic Conference Central Championship in softball this season.

However, the Lady Jays (17-8, 9-1) came one win shy of running the table on the conference Thursday, falling 2-0 against Holt (21-5, 9-1) at Lakeview Park.

Washington had sown up at least a share of the title the previous Thursday with a road win at Wentzville Liberty. The Lady Jays won 3-2 at Holt earlier this month.

The Lady Indians didn’t waste any time getting out in front Thursday. Holt got its first two runners on base with a Taylor Bell single followed by a double from Kelby Robinson.

After Washington pitcher Ellie Quaethem struck out Marissa Peek, Bailee Zeminanek drove in both runs with a single to right center field.

Those were the only two scores Holt was able to get against Quaethem (11-4), who went six innings in the circle, striking out six and allowing seven hits and one walk.

“I’m really happy with the way we played,” Head Coach Philip King said. “They had two runs in the first inning and that’s a very good team. They have 21 wins on the year now and they put up a lot of runs. So, for our pitchers to hold them just to those two runs, they did a great job. Ellie really pitched awesome. She settled down after that, not that she wasn’t doing good that inning. They just had some timely hits.”

Taylor Hendrix relieved Quaethem in the seventh, allowing two hits and striking out one while preventing Holt from adding any insurance runs.

“It’s nice going into districts to see that,” King said. “(Peek) is a D-1 catcher, and she went 0-for on the year against us, So, that says a lot about the pitching and how good they’re doing right now.”

Peek went 0-4 Thursday and 0-2 with two walks in the previous meeting.

The two runs turned out to be all the offense Holt needed as Zeminanek (13-4) scattered three Washington hits across seven innings.

“We were getting girls in scoring position, but she’s a good pitcher,” King said. “Their defense, I think might have made one or two errors and we didn’t make any. So, it was just a really tight game.”

Nichole Brinker, Jenna Monehan and Quaethem had the three hits for the Lady Jays.

Washington has one more regular season matchup scheduled Monday at Union before hosting Northwest Tuesday in the second round of the Class 4 District 4 Tournament.

Washington-Pacific

Playing two days later after a rainout on Monday, Washington slugged its way past Pacific (11-5) in five innings Wednesday.

The Lady Jays piled up 16 runs in the first three innings to win it 16-3.

Washington got off to a hot start against Lady Indians pitcher Megan Meyers, racking up five runs in the first, three of them coming on Monehan’s home run.

With three hits, a walk and a Pacific error, Washington scored five more in the second.

Pacific got on the board in the top of the third when three consecutive singles from Meyers, Kaylie Kaufman and Grace Burrows loaded the bases with two outs and Meyers and Kaufman scored on an error.

The Lady Jays got through seven batters in the third before recording an out, adding on six runs in the frame.

Emma Smiley drew a one-out walk for Pacific in the fourth and came around to score on Annie Mueller’s double, but that concluded the scoring.

Meyers and Washington pitcher Taylor Hendrix exchanged zeros in the bottom of the fourth and the top of the fifth to finish out the contest.

Hendrix (6-3) threw all five innings, striking out seven and allowing one earned run on seven hits and three walks.

Meyers was credited with 12 earned runs in four innings. She allowed 11 hits and walked four.

Hendrix, 3-4, Nichole Brinker, 2-3, and Jessica Huxol, 2-4, each accounted for multiple Washington hits.

Hendrix and Monehan each collected four RBIs.

Caitlyn Vodnansky, Sarah Becszlko and Jessica Miller also had hits for the Lady Jays.

Meyers, 2-3, and Mueller, 2-3, led the Lady Indians’ bats.

Lilly Prichard and Madison Greco each had one hit.