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By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Washburn University baseball jumped ahead in the top of the first and never looked back in Thursday's opening game of the MIAA Championship Tournament, winning 11-1 in eight innings over No. 2-ranked Central Missouri in Pittsburg.

GriffinHuiattWU 4Starting pitcher Griffin Huiatt picked up the win for Washburn in Thursday's 11-1 decision over No. 2-ranked Central Missouri. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

The Ichabods will face the Missouri Southern-Pittsburg State winner at 11 a.m. on Friday.  

Cale Savage started the first-inning Washburn rally by reaching base on an error in the field. Cash Jay and Hayden Priest each followed with singles to load the bases with one out.

Connor Scott hit a double down the right-field line to score two runs. Blake Scott made it four hits in a row on a single into left to score two more runs and complete a four-run top of the first for the No. 5 seeded Ichabods (32-19).  

After a scoreless first inning on the mound from Griffin Huiatt the top-seeded Mules (45-7) picked up action on the bases with two-outs in the second. A single and a walk put two on before an error loaded the bases. Huiatt walked the next batter before tossing a strikeout to end the inning leading 4-1. 

Neither side scored the next three innings, with Huiatt ending the fifth inning by working around a bases-loaded and one-out jam with a pair of fly outs.

Connor Scott ended the scoreless drought with a leadoff home run to dead away center in the top of the sixth inning. Cal Watkins singled with two outs in the inning and Ike Book brought him around with his first round-tripper of the season to make it 7-1 after six and a half innings.  

Huiatt finished his outing with a pair of outs in the bottom of the sixth before Jayden Payne finished off the inning.

Payne and Charlie Kiefer combined to toss a scoreless seventh inning, which ended with a 5-4-3 double play to strand another Mule on the bases.

Connor Scott walked to lead off the WU eighth and moved all the way to third on a stolen base and throwing error on the pickoff attempt. Grant Jones scored the run with a sacrifice fly.

Washburn blasted its third home run of the game the next batter, this one off the bat of Watkins to right field, scoring Blake Scott as well.  

Book kept the inning going with a single and Payton McHarg walked. Both advanced a base on a balk and Savage took care of the rest with a sacrifice fly to left.  

Kiefer stayed on in the eighth inning and worked around a one-out double to finish off the game leaving two Central Missouri runners on base and end it in eight innings, 11-1.  

The Ichabods needed only nine hits to score their 11 runs. Connor Scott, Watkins and Book all had two-hit days and went yard. Scott led with three runs driven in.  

On the mound Washburn tied its fewest runs allowed in a game for the year.

Huiatt went 5.2 innings with four strikeouts and only three hits allowed to earn the win and move to 3-3. The one run was unearned.

As a staff the Ichabods allowed just five hits in the game, tied for the second fewest from the Mules in a game this season.

The one run generated by Central Missouri is the lowest total on the year for the Mules.  

WU softball drops tough 3-0 decision in NCAA Central Regional

The No. 12-ranked Central Oklahoma Bronchos took advantage of a two-out flyball that was lost in the sun, leading to three runs in the bottom of the first inning as the Ichabods fell 3-0 in their opening game in the NCAA Central Regional Tournament in Claremore, Okla.

The Ichabods will now play in an elimination game at 1:30 pm on Friday afternoon against Southern Nazarene.
 
In the top of the first, Erin Boles drew a lead-off walk and moved to second on a sac bunt by Marrit Mead. Jaycee Ginter then singled down the left-field line but Boles was called out at the plate.
 
In the three-run inning for the Bronchos (43-12), Washburn's Sadie Walker struck out UCO's lead-off batter, and then after a pop-out, the Bronchos' Terin Ritz sent a fly ball to the outfield but Washburn (37-16) lost it in the sun, allowing Ritz to move to second.

A UCO double, followed by a single sent three Bronchos to the plate as they took a 3-0 lead.
 
The Ichabods picked up singles from Autymn Schreiner in the second and Hailey Neira in the third inning but could not score.
 
Walker at one point retired nine of 10 UCO batters. Overall she struck out three, scattering five hits dropping while dropping to 20-9 in the circle.
 
Both teams had five hits as Ginter finished with two for the Ichabods.
 

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