TOPEKA, Kan. -- The Lady Blues split a crazy doubleheader at the Washburn Softball Complex with Pittsburg State winning the first game in walkoff fashion in nine innings in the opener taking an 8-6 win while dropping the nightcap 15-14 in eight innings. Washburn returns to action at Northeastern State on April 12. The teams combined for 46 hits, 43 runs and 12 home runs in the doubleheader.
In the opener, pitcher Lauren Thimmesch helped her own cause as she connected on a 3-run walkoff homer in the bottom of the ninth giving the Lady Blues an 8-6 win. Thimmesch also picked up the win throwing a complete game striking out five with one walk allowing just one earned run on a Gorilla home run in the top of the ninth inning by Jordan Bradshaw. The other five runs came off of three Washburn errors.
Neither team scored until the fourth inning when the Gorillas took a 2-0 lead off of Katelyn Birchfield's 2 RBI single.
Washburn got one back in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI double by Shelby Erickson which scored Skyler Gentry who was hit by a pitch. A lead off home run by Haylee Marsteller in the bottom of the fifth tied the score at 2-2. Washburn took a 4-2 lead in the sixth on a 2-run homer by Amanda Kirkhart. In the seventh, Pitt State scored three unearned runs all with two outs to take a 5-4 lead however a home run by Alex Zordel tied the score at 5-5. Neither team scored in the eighth setting up Thimmesch's heroics in the ninth.
Thimmesch improved to 7-9 with the win.
In the second game, the Gorillas jumped out to a 5-0 lead after their first at bat capped by a grand slam by Katelyn Birchfield. Washburn came back with four in the bottom of the first with Erickson connecting on a 3-run homer. Washburn's other run came via an RBI single by Thimmesch which scored Katie Schroeder.
After the Gorillas were retired with a double play in the top of the second, Washburn came to bat and Schroeder tied the score at 5-5 with a home run to right field.
Washburn took a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the third when Marsteller's ground ball went through the wickets of the Pitt State shortstop scoring the Lady Blues an unearned run.
In the top of the fourth, the Gorillas scored five more times aided by a Birchfield's second home run of the game with a three-run shot as the Gorillas took a 10-6 lead.
Erickson hit her second home of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning and Washburn added two more in the frame after a throwing error by the Gorillas on Schroeder's single to second cutting the lead to 10-9. The Gorillas added four in the top of the sixth to take a 14-9 lead.
In the seventh, Kirkhart led off the frame with a single and then Jones followed up with a single of her own. Schroeder walked to load the bases and then Leah Garland drew a walk to force home Jones. Zordel connected on her fifth home run of the season, a bases-clearning grand slam to tie the score at 14.
However in the top of the eighth, the Gorillas used a sac fly by McKenzie Rynard for the go-ahead run as the Lady Blues went in order in the eighth.
Thimmesch took the loss in relief for Washburn tossing three innings. Zordel and Erickson each drove in four runs in the game and Erickson and Schroeder scored three times each.
In the doubleheader, Erickson and Zordel each had five RBI while Thimmesch finished with four. Washburn had eight home runs in the two games with Zordel and Erickson recording a pair. Schroeder scored four runs as did Zordel in the doubleheader.