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Washington Softball suffers first SEC loss
Washington Softball suffers first SEC loss

Demons fail in conference match against Keokuk

Washington's Isabella Salazar throws during the Demons' 7-4 loss to Keokuk on Thursday, June 20, 2024. (Hunter Moeller/The Union)

Washington’s Isabella Salazar throws during the Demons’ 7-4 loss to Keokuk on Thursday, June 20, 2024. (Hunter Moeller/The Union)

WASHINGTON – The Washington softball team has been dominant, to say the least, against Southeast Conference opponents this season.

Before the Demons’ SEC matchup with Keokuk on Thursday night, their closest conference matchup was a 6-4 win over Fort Madison in the first week of June.

Washington's Rylee Libe throws a ball to first base during the Demons' loss to Keokuk on Thursday, June 20, 2024. (Hunter Moeller/The Union)

Washington’s Rylee Libe throws a ball to first base during the Demons’ loss to Keokuk on Thursday, June 20, 2024. (Hunter Moeller/The Union)

In their two previous meetings against Keokuk, the Demons had beaten the Chiefs 30-6.

But in the last direct duel between the two in the regular season, it was Keokuk who had the last laugh with a score of 7:4.

No. 8 Washington fell behind early.

Both teams remained scoreless in the first frame, but Keokuk took control in the second and third.

The Chiefs scored two runs each in the second and third innings, scoring on a triple and a ground out in the second inning, while a Washington error in the third inning brought in two more runs.

Washington's Lauren Hinrichsen tries to field a ball at third base during the Demons' matchup with Keokuk on Thursday, June 20, 2024. Washington lost to the Chiefs 7-4. (Hunter Moeller/The Union)

Washington’s Lauren Hinrichsen tries to field a ball at third base during the Demons’ matchup with Keokuk on Thursday, June 20, 2024. Washington lost to the Chiefs 7-4. (Hunter Moeller/The Union)

Despite being down 4-0, the Demons remained focused.

Washington came back with a vengeance in the second half of the fourth inning. After being hit by a pitch early in the inning, Colbie Greiner later scored on an RBI single by Rylee Libe to put the Demons on the scoreboard.

In the next at-bat, Lauren Hinrichsen walked and Kendall Hinrichsen hit a hard-hit ball toward second base that the Chiefs defense could not stop.

Hinrichsen landed on second base while Washington scored two more runs, cutting Keokuk’s lead to 4-3.

Washington's Emery Walton hits her cutoff in Rylee Libe against Keokuk on Thursday, June 20, 2024. (Hunter Moeller/The Union)

Washington’s Emery Walton hits her cutoff in Rylee Libe against Keokuk on Thursday, June 20, 2024. (Hunter Moeller/The Union)

But that wasn’t all. At the top, Leighton Salazar tied the game with an RBI double.

Although the Demons came back and tied the game, they were never able to take the lead.

The two teams remained scoreless for the next four innings before the game was decided in the ninth inning.

The Chiefs regained the lead by three runs at the start of the ninth inning, with a two-run inside-the-park home run being their highlight.

Washington had runners on first and second base in its half of the inning, but could not bring the runs home.

With the loss, Washington improves its season record to 21-5 and its conference record to 11-1.

By Everly