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  • A1 Lock & Key Performers April 15, 2024

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news 

     JacksonEsquibelnewmug 1Jackson Esquibel

    JACKSON ESQUIBEL, Shawnee Heights

    A senior distance star, Esquibel won the Class 4A-6A 800 meters in the Shocker Pre-State Challenge at Wichita State in a personal-record time of 1 minute, 58.46 seconds and finished second in the Elite division in the 3,200 in 9:22.37. Esquibel, a Kansas State signee, currently ranks No. 1 in Shawnee County in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.

    KateHinckWR2024mugKate Hinck

    KATE HINCK, Washburn Rural

    A junior, Hinck scored a pair of goals for Washburn Rural last Friday in a 3-0 Centennial League soccer win over Hayden in a battle between two schools that had posted third-place state finishes in 2003. Hinck led the way as the Junior Blues improved to 7-2 on the season with their fourth straight victory.

     RyinMillermug2023Ryin Miller

    RYIN MILLER, Seaman

    A sophomore multi-sport standout, Miller broke two school records for the second straight week in Friday's Leitel Legacy Invitational track and field meet at Free State. Miller won the 3,200 meters in 10 minutes, 19.29, bettering her own school record by more than seven seconds, and broke the Seaman record in the 800 meters with a time of 2:10.25.

  • Topeka tennis community celebrates class of 2024's Hall of Fame induction

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Saturday was an opportunity for the local tennis community to celebrate its proud heritage with the induction of its 10-member Topeka Tennis Association 2024 Hall of Fame Class at the Bettis Family Sports Complex. 

    Mary Brownback and Kent Lammers, former college players and longtime supporters of Topeka tennis, were inducted into the Hall of Fame along with eight former city high school stars, who all won state championships during their prep careers -- Cory Buck, Drew Hanson, Trevor Hedberg, Shane Johnston, Branden Joost, Sean McManus, Sumeet Patel and Alex (O'Neal) Trobough.

    TTAHallofFame 2Topeka Tennis Association 2024 Hall of Fame inductees (from left) -- Sumeet Patel, Alexandra (O'Neal) Trobough, Branden Joost, Drew Hanson, Trevor Hedberg, Shane Johnston and Sean McManus. Not pictured: Cory Buck. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    MaryBrownback 1Mary Brownback, 2024 Topeka Tennis Hall of Fame inductee

    KentLammers 2Kent Lammers, 2024 Topeka Tennis Hall of Fame inductee

    "We all grew up playing together and I was a couple of years younger, but we were all on the court at the same time, running the same drills and it was nice because we had this little bit of camaraderie growing up in juniors and high school tennis and the coaches all knew each other, too,'' said Trobough, a three-time state champ at Hayden.

    "The tennis community has always wanted to support one another.''

    Retired longtime Washburn Rural coach Kevin Hedberg, a charter member of the local hall of fame, said Saturday was a special night for him as his son Trevor along with former Rural stars Hanson and Patel, who were a part of the Junior Blues' run of three straight Class 6A state team titles, were inducted into the shrine.

    "I'd be lying if I said I wasn't really thrilled and I knew all of these kids so well that I'm thrilled for all of them,'' Kevin Hedberg said. "They all worked at it and there's a lesson for the kids today that you can't do this halfway. You've got to be all in and these guys were and they were rewarded for it. It's a thrill.

    "It's wonderful to see them all now as men and women, with children.''

    Trevor Hedberg, a state doubles and team champ at Rural, said that it was a honor to join his father and his teammates in the hall of fame.

    "My dad has quite a legacy with tennis in Topeka and there was a time in my life where tennis was a really big part of it, from 14 to 21,'' said Trevor Hedberg, a college professor at the University of Arizona. "And even though I've kind of moved on beyond that now, this certainly does mean something now and I think it's not really about me, it's more about the collective group and just being surrounded by all of these great players that were all playing at the same time.

    "I played doubles with a lot of the players and played against them in singles, sometimes in the same tournament. I think back then it was really easy to get caught up in the competitive aspect of it and worrying about how you're stacking up against all these other people and lose track of the bigger picture of how much you're accomplishing along the way and also losing track of the team-oriented accomplishments. It's certainly cool to come back.''

    Hall of Fame capsules:

  • Cale Savage's ninth-inning homer gives Ichabods 7-6 walkoff win, series sweep over Fort Hays State

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University baseball secured its second sweep of the season on Sunday afternoon at Falley Field in walkoff fashion, defeating Fort Hays State 7-6 after a home run in the bottom of the ninth from Cale Savage.

    CaleSavage 2Washburn celebrates Sunday's walkoff home run by Cale Savage (21) that gave the Ichabods a 7-6 win and a series sweep over Fort Hays State. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    The Ichabods now head out of conference play for one game, playing Rockhurst at 6 p.m. Tuesday on the road.  

    The Tigers (21-20 overall, 9-18 MIAA) led off the game with back-to-back hits, a double and a single, to score the first run of the game.

    After one out another pair of hits scored two more runs to make it 3-0 Tigers after half an inning.

    WU's Grant Jones ended the top of the first, robbing what would have been a grand slam in left field to limit the scoring. 

    Ichabod starter Chase Torkelson settled in the next two innings, holding Fort Hays State without a hit.  

    Washburn (23-16, 17-10) got on the board in the bottom of the third, beginning with a leadoff walk to Ike Book.

     Payton McHarg moved him to second and Cash Jay did the rest, scoring Book with a single down the left-field line.  

    An inning later Grant Jones shot a one-out single straight up the middle.

    Connor Scott tripled one batter later to bring Jones all the way around. Book tied the game with a sacrifice fly to left field to score Scott and complete the inning.  

  • No. 23-ranked Ichabod softball closes out home slate with Senior Day doubleheader sweep over Lions

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    No. 23-ranked Washburn University softball wrapped up the home slate with a doubleheader sweep over Missouri Southern Saturday at Gahnstrom Field, winning 8-3 and 3-0.

    WUseniorsSaturday 2Washburn seniors Sheyenne Creek, Hailey Neira, Marrit Mead, Jaycee Ginter and Autymn Schreiner were honored between games of Saturday's doubleheader sweep over Missouri Southern. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    Washburn will now have a two week break from game action as they will not return to the field until April 27 when the Ichabods close out the regular season at Emporia State.

    The MIAA Championships Tournament will start on Wednesday, May 1 in Edmond, Oklahoma hosted by Central Oklahoma.

    The Lions took a 3-0 first-game lead through four and a half innings, but the Ichabods rallied with six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning while running through four Missouri Southern pitchers and sending a total of nine batters to the plate en route to the 6-3 lead.

    Mariah Walker walked on four straight pitches to start the inning and then, after the first pitching change for the Lions, Autymn Shreiner drew a four-pitch walk.

    After back-to-back wild pitches, with the second scoring Gracie Gallagher with the Ichabods' first run of the day, Madi Moore walked, sending another Lion pitcher to the circle.

    Hailey Neira put down a punt that loaded the bases and then Erin Boles singled to moving the runners up 60 feet.

    On the very next pitch, Marrit Mead singled in a run, forcing the third Lion pitcher of the inning to enter the game. 

    Alexis Tanguma then followed with a single to score Neira and then Jaycee Ginter singled in two runs, finishing the scoring in the inning.

  • No. 23-ranked Ichabod softball to close out home slate with weekend doubleheaders

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The No. 23-ranked Washburn University softball team will return to action on Friday, hosting No. 9-ranked Pittsburg State at 4 p.m., and then wrap up its home schedule on Saturday, facing Missouri Southern at Gahnstrom Field.

    WUsoftballseniors 2Washburn University softball will honor seniors Hailey Neira, Sheyenne Cheek, Jaycee Ginter, Autymn Schreiner and Marrit Mead between games of Saturday's twinbill against Missouri Southern. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    Between games on Saturday the Ichabods will honor Ichabod seniors Sheyenne Cheek, Jaycee Ginter, Hailey Neira, Marrit Mead and Autymn Schreiner, who will be playing their final games at Gahnstrom Field this weekend.

    Washburn enters the weekend with a 34-10 overall and 15-5 in the MIAA after going 4-0 last weekend with sweeps over Nebraska-Kearney and Fort Hays State.

    No. 9-ranked Pittsburg State is 38-4 this season and 12-2 in the MIAA and the Gorillas have won their last six games. PSU has gone a perfect 20-0 in home games this season while going 5-2 on the road and 13-2 in neutral site games.

    Missouri Southern is 29-12 and 9-5 in the MIAA and just outside the top 25 rankings entering the weekend.

  • Washburn baseball to host Fort Hays State in weekend MIAA series at Falley Field

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University baseball will host MIAA foe Fort Hays State for three games this weekend, beginning on Friday at 5 p.m. in Little League Weekend at Falley Field. 

    PaytonMcHargWU 2Payton McHarg leads Washburn with 18 home runs and 47 RBI entering a weekend series against Fort Hays State at Falley Field. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    Last time out the Ichabods won 12-7 over Northwest Missouri State on Tuesday afternoon at home to wrap up the season series with the Bearcats. 

    Washburn is now 20-16 overall on the year and 14-10 in the MIAA. The Ichabods are 10-5 at Falley Field, 9-11 on the road and 1-0 in neutral field games. 

    Fort Hays State enters the weekend with a 21-17 overall record and a 9-15 mark in the MIAA after falling 12-5 to Newman on the road on Tuesday afternoon. 

    Through 35 games Washburn is scoring 9.56 runs per game while allowing 7.69. 

    At the plate the Ichabods are hitting .328 with a .424 on base percentage and are slugging .592 as a team. They have 74 home runs and have drawn 185 walks. 

  • Washburn baseball rides eighth-inning rally to 7-4 win over Fort Hays State

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    For a second straight game Washburn University erased an early deficit with a three-run eighth inning, winning Game 2 over Fort Hays State 7-4 on Saturday to clinch the series win over the Tigers at Falley Field.

    GriffinHuiatt 3Washburn's Griffin Huiatt picked up the win in relief in Saturday's 7-4 MIAA decision over Fort Hays State. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    The Ichabods will go for the sweep on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the series finale.  

    Fort Hays State (21-19 overall, 9-17 MIAA) led off the game with a pair of first-inning singles, but a double play took one off the basepaths. A walk again put two runners on and a single up the middle scored one.

    The Tigers then knocked a double into the right-field corner, scoring a run, but Washburn tagged out the second runner at the plate to end the inning.  

    The score stayed that way until the bottom of the third.

    Connor Scott and Grant Jones earned walks with no outs.

    Payton McHarg got Washburn (22-16, 16-10) on the board with a double into the corner in right field, scoring both runners to tie the game at two.  

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers April 8, 2024

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    AudreyAppuhnmug 1Audrey Appuhn 

    AUDREY APPUHN, Washburn Rural

     Appuhn, a sophomore swimming standout for the Junior Blues, earned three gold medals in last Thursday's Emporia Invitational as Washburn Rural won the team championship by a 527-374 margin over De Soto. Appuhn won the 500-yard freestyle by nearly 17 seconds in 5 minutes, 32.79 seconds and also swam on Rural's winning 200 medley relay (2:10.57) and 200 free relay (1:54.69).

    ErinBolesmug 2Erin Boles

    ERIN BOLES, Washburn University

    A sophomore right-fielder out of Lubbock, Texas, Boles went 7 for 11 with five runs scored and three runs batted in at the plate last Thursday and Friday as Washburn's softball team earned MIAA road sweeps at Nebraska-Kearney (8-0 and 3-0) and Fort Hays State (13-6 and 2-0). The Ichabods improved to 34-10 on the season while stretching their winning streak to 11 games. 

    JacksonEsquibelnewmug 1Jackson Esquibel

    JACKSON ESQUIBEL, Shawnee Heights

    A senior who has won Class 5A state championships in track and cross country, Esquibel captured three gold medals in last Friday's Lansing Invitational track and field meet. Esquibel, a Kansas State signee, won the boys 1,600 meters in 4 minutes, 28.20 seconds and the 3,200 in 9:31.57 while also teaming with Mason Haas, Charles Hanson and Evan Carter to win the 4x800 relay in 8:38.00.

  • Washburn University football wraps up spring with Saturday scrimmage

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University football coach Craig Schurig and his Ichabod coaching staff certainly had several things they wanted to get accomplished in spring football.

    CraigSchurigSpringGame 2Washburn coach Craig Schurig talks to his team after Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage in Yager Stadium. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    But after battling through an injury-riddled 2-9 season last fall, one of the major goals for the Ichabods was to get through the spring with a minimum of injuries.

    So with that in mind, Washburn wrapped up its spring with Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage in Yager Stadium that included a lot of passing, rushing and kicking, but no full contact. 

    "We wanted to keep them healthy so we didn't do tackle,'' Schurig explained after the scrimmage. "That's frustrating I'm sure for players and sometimes it is for the coaches, too, but it's probably the smart way to do it.

    "They're revved up to get after it and they kind of have to tone it down a little bit, but we really feel like we got what we wanted out of spring and came a long way.''

  • Washburn University football Spring Game on tap Saturday at Yager Stadium.

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The Washburn University football team will hold its annual Spring Game on Saturday inside Yager Stadium, starting with warmups around 9:40 a.m.

    CraigSchurigSpringGame1Washburn's football team will hold its annual Spring Game Saturday mornng in Yager Stadium. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    Following team stretches and special teams drills, a controlled scrimmage will last until approximately 11:45 a.m. going through 20 periods of plays.

    Washburn coach Craig Schurig, whose Ichabods are coming off an injury-riddled 2-9 season last fall after three straight winning seasons, said he has been pleased with how the spring has gone. Most all of the players that suffered season-ending injuries last season are back on the field and healthy while a ton of young players who were pressed into duty last season are also making strides according to WU's veteran coach.

    "You feel like the team is really coming together,'' Schurig said. "The youth that we had in the fall, the fact that they got all that playing time, you can see their sense of urgency to get better because they've seen what it takes in this conference.

    "So they're focused. It's a fun group, a lot of enthusiasm. They go hard and you can see them starting to play together. We've got a ways to go but if we get this group to play with their instinct and their speed, we're good. They're getting more and more like that, where they're just playing.''

  • No. 24-ranked Ichabods softball runs win streak to 11 games with sweep at Fort Hays State

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The No. 24-ranked Washburn University softball team pushed its win streak to 11 games on Friday with a doubleheader sweep at Fort Hays State, 13-6 and 2-0.

    Washburn, 34-10 overall, 15-5 in the MIAA, recorded a season-high 16 hits in the opener, scoring in six of seven innings, while senior Jaycee Ginter twirled a two-hit shutout in the second game.

    JayceeGinterSOFTBAL MW 2Washburn senior Jaycee Ginter threw a two-hitter and recorded a fourth straight shutout in the Ichabods' 2-0 win second-game win over Fort Hays State on Friday. [File photo/TSN]

    ErinBolesSOFTBALL 1Sophomore Erin Boles went 5 of 6 with four runs scored in Washburn's doubleheader sweep over Fort Hays State on Friday. [File photo/TSN]

    The Ichabods got on the board in their first at bat of the day when Erin Boles led off the game with a single and came around to score on Kaylee Wagner's single to left as Washburn took the early 1-0 lead.

    In the second frame, Mariah Wheeler started things off with a single and then Gracie Gallagher entered as a pinch runner, moving to second on a sac bunt by Autymn Schreiner. A single from Ellington Hogle, followed by a stolen base from Hogle put runners and second and third. Boles hit a sac fly to score Gallgher as the Ichabods took a 2-0 advantage.

    The third inning saw the Ichabods get a two-runner homer by Wagner, her second of the season, scoring Alexis Tanguma, who had reached on a single.

     The Tigers scored three runs in the third inning on three hits to get within 4-3, but Washburn came back with two runs of its own in the fourth inning when Hogle was hit by a pictch and then moved to second when Boles singled to center.

    A sac bunt from Marrit Mead moved the runners up 60 feet and then Jaycee Ginter's second walk of the game loaded the bases before Tanguma stroked a two-run single.

    Washburn added two more in the fifth on Mead's program-best 57th career double which scored Boles and Wheeler as the Ichabods increased their lead to 8-3.

  • Topeka Tennis Hall of Fame to welcome 10 new members in April 13 induction ceremony

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The Topeka Tennis Association will induct its 2024 Hall of Fame class on Saturday, April 13, at the Bettis Family Sports Complex in the meeting pavilion, welcoming 10 inductees into the hall.

    TTAlogo 4

    Doors will open at 6 p.m., with the event to get under way at 7 o'clock.

    Mary Brownback and Kent Lammers, former college players and longtime supporters of Topeka tennis, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame along with eight former city high school stars who all won state championships during their prep careers.

    That group includes Cory Buck, Drew Hanson, Trevor Hedberg, Shane Johnston, Branden Joost, Sean McManus, Sumeet Patel and Alex (O'Neal) Trobough.  

    Hall of Fame capsules:

    MaryBrownbackmugMary Brownback

    MARY BROWNBACK

    Brownback lettered three years in high school tennis (1973-1976), placing second in state doubles 1974-1975 and placing fourth in state singles 1975-1976.

    Brownback lettered four years at the University of Kansas (1976-1980), winning the Big 8 No. 3 singles title in 1977 and 1979. Brownback helped Kansas win the Big 8 team title in 1979 (team was made up of all Kansas residents).

    Played on the Missouri Valley circuit as a junior and played 4.0 USTA team tennis several years.

    CoryBuckmugCory Buck

    CORY BUCK

    Buck was a member of Topeka West's varsity tennis team for three years.

    Buck teamed with Shane Johnston to win the Class 5A state doubles championship as a junior in 2005, with Buck and Johnston posting a 34-4 record.

    Buck placed 10th in 5A singles as a freshman and fourth as a sophomore.

    DrewHansonmugDrew Hanson

    DREW HANSON

    Hanson teamed with Sumeet Patel to finish second in Class 6A doubles his freshman year and won the Class 6A state singles championship his senior season.

    Hanson was inducted into the Washburn Rural Hall of Fame in 2022.

    Hanson was named the MIAA Freshman of the Year in 2005-2006 and was named Washburn's most valuable player in 2006-2007. Hanson was a three-time MIAA team champion and posted 56 singles wins and 60 doubles wins.

  • Ichabod baseball gets 'blessing' from north of the border in Canadian Payton McHarg

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    At 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Washburn University outfielder Payton McHarg isn't likely to strike fear in Ichabod opponents... until he swings the bat.

    PaytonMcHargBASEBALLRogersState 2Washburn junior outfielder Payton McHarg (5) celebrates after hitting his nation-leading 17th home run in Saturday's 15-7 win over Rogers State. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    PaytonMcHargBASEBALLRogersState 3Payton McHarg leads the nation in home runs and tops Washburn in hits, runs, homers and RBI. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    The native of Saskatchewan, Canada, McHarg has turned in an outstanding first season for Washburn, leading the nation with 17 home runs while batting .383 and leading the 18-14 Ichabods in runs, hits and runs batted in while compiling a .908 slugging percentage and and a .487 on-base percentage.

    McHarg landed at Washburn after two seasons at Kansas City Kansas Community College and Ichabod coach Harley Douglas said he knew McHarg could be a special player after he first saw him in the fall prior to the 2023 season.

    "The fall before the season when KCK came in here, he was facing Casey Steward and Rane Pfeifer and some of those arms and he hit one off the scoreboard against us and we were like, 'Man, this kid's really good,' '' Douglas said. "We loved him and made an offer to him.

    "He wasn't ready to pull the trigger and we thought, 'Oh great, somebody's going to come along, some D-Is and like that,' but he hurt his wrist and he really didn't get to play the second half of the season.''

    McHarg's injury worked out well for both McHarg and Washburn.

    "He liked what he had here and he ended up jumping on it and taking it and it's been a blessing for us,'' Douglas said.

  • Left-hander Sadie Walker in midst of dominating sophomore campaign for Washburn softball

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Sadie Walker turned in a solid freshman campaign in the pitcher's circle for Washburn University's softball team last season, posting an 8-4 record with a 3.11 earned run average and 97 strikeouts.

    SadieWalkerSOFTBALL MW 4Washburn sophomore Sadie Walker received MIAA Pitcher of the Week recognition for the second time this season after posting a 2-0 record, including a no-hitter, last weekend. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    But those numbers pale in comparison to the numbers the left-hander has put up in Year 2, with the former Holton standout helping lead the 24th-ranked Ichabods to a 30-10 record with seven straight wins.

    Walker currently leads the nation with 17 wins and ranks fifth in the nation with six shutouts and 10th with a sparkling 0.88 earned run average. 

    Walker is 17-5 overall with two saves while recording 118 strikeouts and holding opponents to a .210 batting average.

    "I felt like my freshman year I spent most of the year worrying about trying to prove myself and this year I feel like I'm just trying to stand on my name and make sure that everybody knows that they have a tough weekend when they're facing me,'' Walker said.

    SadieWalkerSOFTBALL MW 2Sadie Walker is 17-5 on the season for 30-10 Washburn softball with an 0.88 earned run average. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Walker is coming off an outstanding week for the Ichabods, including WU's first seven-inning complete-game no-hitter since 2021 in a 1-0 win over Missouri Western last Saturday as Walker struck out 10 while facing just one above the minimum batters in the win, her second no-hitter of the season.

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers April 1, 2024

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    BrodyAndersonmug 2Brody Anderson

    BRODY ANDERSON, Seaman

    A sophomore track and field standout for the Vikings, Anderson picked up his second win in the 800-meter run in as many meets in last Thursday's Jerry Beardslee Invitational at Washburn Rural. Anderson clocked a personal-record time of 1 minute, 59.81 seconds in the win, recording his first sub-two minute time in the event. Anderson received All-Shawnee County honorable mention as a freshman in track and was a first-team all-county pick in cross country this past fall. 

    JettBuckmug 2Jett Buck

    JETT BUCK, Washburn University

    A junior shortstop, Buck went 3 for 3 with a double and a home run on Saturday as Washburn University's baseball clinched a series win over Rogers State with a 15-7 victory at Falley Field. A Liberty, Mo. native, Buck scored a run and had four runs batted in as the Ichabods improved to 18-14 overall and 12-8 in the MIAA.

    JayceeGintermug 1Jaycee Ginter

    JAYCEE GINTER, Washburn University

    A senior right-hander, Ginter threw back-to-back shutouts last weekend against Northwest Missouri and Missouri Western. The former Shawnee Heights star hurled a complete-game three-hitter in Friday's 6-0 win over Northwest while recording 12 strikeouts and hitting a three-run home run. Ginter followed that up with another three-hit, 12-strikeout performance in Saturday's 2-0 Ichabod win over Missouri Western, improving to 14-5 on the season.

  • WU baseball rides 16-hit, 15-run offensive explosion to series-clinching win over Rogers State

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Despite a rash of injuries, most notably in its pitching staff, the Washburn University baseball team has been able to avoid any lengthy losing skids, with the Ichabods losing no more than two games in a row since mid-February.

    JettBuckBASEBALLRogersState 1Washburn shortstop Jett Buck salutes the Ichabod bench while rounding the bases on his sixth home run of the season. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    JettBuckBASEBALLRogersState 2Jett Buck (16) went 3 fof 3 with four RBI in Washburn's 15-7 MIAA win over Rogers State Saturday at Falley Field. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    But the Ichabods have also struggled to put together any prolonged hot streaks, with WU winning no more than two straight games over its past 11 contests.

    Needing a big end to the regular season to help its MIAA Tournament seeding and its shot at an NCAA Regional berth, Washburn coach Harley Douglas is hopeful that Saturday's offensive explosion at Falley Field is the start of a finishing flourish.

    Washburn scored four runs in the first inning and tallied 16 hits in the game to top Rogers State 15-7 in the rubber match of the series, with the Ichabods improving to 18-14 overall and 12-8 in the MIAA.

    "We have four or five arms (pitchers) that are 88 to 91 (mile per hour) guys that have went down on us and when you get that you've got to get the next guys to step up and I think some of them had to step up earlier than what they anticipated or earlier than they were ready so it was kind of a tough one for them,'' Douglas said.

    "But we're finally starting to figure it out. We didn't allow a lot of runs this weekend and we did a really good job of executing and pitching the way we needed to and when you can do that it's going to give you a chance in any game.''

    Now the key for the Ichabods is to continue to make strides.

    "I like where we're at right now,'' Douglas said. "I think we can make a run because we have teams that are below us that we need to take care of business against and we need to.

    "We feel pretty comfortable with where we're at conference-wise but we'd like to host our first-round tournament setup and then we would obviously like to be in the regional conversation and to do that you've got to get to 30 wins, you've got to be one of the top three or four teams in this conference. That's something that's important to us.''

    The Hillcats (17-14 overall, 9-11 MIAA) jumped in front 2-0 in the top of the first inning, but Washburn answered with a four-run bottom of the first and never trailed again.

  • Ichabods get dominating performances from Walker, Ginter in sweep over Missouri Western

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    It's a given that teams always want to score more runs.

    But with the way Washburn University's Sadie Walker and Jaycee Ginter are pitching, Ichabod coach Brenda Holaday also knows that it's probably not going to take a bushel full of runs to get the job done.

    SadieWalkerSOFTBALL MW 1Washburn sophomore left-hander Sadie Walker threw her second no-hitter of the season Saturday in the Ichabods' 1-0 win over Missouri Western. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN] 

    JayceeGinterSOFTBAL MW 2Washburn senior Jaycee Ginter threw a three-hitter and struck out 12 for the second straight day in the Ichabods' 2-0 win over Missouri Western. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    No. 24-ranked Washburn scored just three runs in Saturday's MIAA doubleheader against Missouri Western, but those three runs were enough to push the Ichabods' winning streak to seven games with 1-0 and 2-0 wins at Gahnstrom Field.

    "It's kind of who we are as a team,'' Holaday said. "We've got two really quality pitchers and we've got a good defense. We have hits up and down the lineup but we're having some struggles stringing them together.

    "A lot of that's credit to who we're playing. They have good pitchers, too, but I was comfortable this weekend. I felt like our pitchers were really dominant and if we could scratch across a couple of runs we'd have a good chance to win. I was really proud of the way our kids played this weekend and the four wins were big for us.''  

    In the opener, Holton sophomore Walker tossed the first seven-inning complete-game no-hitter since 2021 when Ginter pitched a no-no against Fort Hays State. Walker struck out 10 and improved to 17-5 on the season while facing just one above the minimum batters in the win.

    "Honestly I didn't realize it was a no-hitter until it was probably one out into the last inning,'' Walker said. "I had two more outs to go and I was like, 'Well, we'll see what happens.'

    "Obviously I wanted to get the no-hitter but at the end of the day I just wanted to shut them down.''

    Shawnee Heights product Ginter (14-5) followed Walker's dominating performance with one of her own, twirling a three-hitter while striking out 12 batters for the second straight day.

  • After long road back, WU football standout Jordan Finnesy looking to make up for lost time

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Throughout his high school football and wrestling career at Plainville and two full seasons as a safety for the Washburn University football team, Jordan Finnesy had never faced a serious injury, with nothing more than the usual bumps and bruises.

    JordanFinnesyWUfootball 1Washburn junior safety Jordan Finnesy is back in action for the Ichabods in spring practice after fighting through a serious knee injury. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    That all changed on the third play of the Ichabods' second game of the 2023 season against Missouri Southern last Sept. 7 when Finnesy suffered a serious knee injury that he's just now coming back from. 

    "I tore my (medial collateral ligament) and also tore my meniscus,'' said Finnesy, a former standout quarterback/defensive back and two-time state wrestling champion at Plainville. "I also had a fracture on the MCL, so then I ended up having to get that re-attached to the bone.''

    Complicating things for Finnesy, one of a long list of Ichabods who suffered season-ending injuries last fall, was the fact that the true extent of his injury wasn't determined until weeks later.

    "They initially missed the fracture part of it and technically I would have been able to come back,'' said the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Finnesy. "It was the week of Missouri Western (Week 6) and I was actually out practicing and thought I was going to be able to play that week and I got a call from the doctor and had to shut it down and go get surgery that same week.

    "I had surgery in the middle of October and was able to start re-habbing right away after that and was fully cleared right before spring break, so it was about five months.''

    For someone who had never faced serious injury challenges, Finnesy, who recorded 58 tackes in 2022, admitted that fighting through his injury was a big hurdle, not only physically but mentally.

    "It's tough on you, especially that early in the season, because you're just coming off a good game against Pitt State (seven tackles, five solos) and you're looking forward to a long, good season coming up and then that happens,'' Finnesy said.

    "Mentally it kind of wears on you, but it's just trusting what God's plan is for you. Your teammates and coaches are there for you and you just have to trust in the process and get through that.''

  • Ichabod baseball opens Rogers State series with 12-2 romp

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University baseball opened a three-game MIAA series with Rogers State on Thursday at Falley Field, and after falling behind 2-0, it was all Ichabods the rest of the way as WU topped the Hillcats 12-2 in eight innings while pounding out 16 hits in the win.

    PaytonMcHargWU 2Payton McHarg had two homers and a double in Thursday's 12-2 MIAA win over Rogers State. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    CadenBresslerWU 2Caden Bressler went six innings to pick up the pitching win in Washburn's 12-2 MIAA win over Rogers State on Thursday. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics] 

    Ichabod starter Caden Bressler improved to 3-2 on the season, striking out four. After hitting a pair of Hillcats in the first inning, who both came around to score on sac flies, he allowed only three hits the rest of the way in his six-inning stint.
     
    After Rogers State (16-13 overall, 8-10 MIAA) took the early lead, the Ichabods came back with three runs in the first, three more in the second and added two additional runs in the third to open up an 8-2 advantage.

    In the first inning, Payton McHarg took a 2-2 pitch over the right-field fence leading off the inning.

    After singles by Cash Jay and Hayden Priest, Jay scored on of the Hillcats' three errors on the afternoon. Jett Buck doubled down the left-field line, scoring Priest as Washburn plated three in its first at bat.

  • No. 24-ranked Washburn softball rides strong pitching performances to sweep over Bearcats

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

     The Washburn University softball team used a pair of strong pitching performances from Sadie Walker and Jaycee Ginter to a doubleheader sweep over Northwest Missouri on Friday at Gahnstrom Field, winning 3-1 and 6-0.

    JayceeGinterSOFTBALL 1Senior Jaycee Ginter threw a three-hitter with 12 strikeouts and hit a three-run home run in Friday's 6-0 Washburn win over Northwest Missouri. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

     SadieWalkerSOFTBALLSophomore Sadie Walker picked up the pitching win in Washburn's 3-1 first-game victory over Northwest Missouri on Friday. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    The Ichabods will wrap up the weekend with a Saturday home twinbill against Missouri Western starting at 12 p.m.

    Walker, a sophomore, went the distance in the opener striking out five allowing seven hits and one earned run while Ginter, a senior, threw a three-hitter in the second game while recording 12 strikeouts and hitting a three-run home run.

    The Bearcats took the early lead in the top of the third of the opener after a single and triple but Washburn knotted the score in the fourth taking advantage of a pair of Bearcat errors. 

    Alexis Tanguma started things off with a single and after Gracie Gallagher entered as a pinch runner, Ginter's sac bunt moved Gallagher to second. After Autymn Schreiner reached on a throwing error, Jaden LaBarge also reached on a throwing error, scoring Gallagher to tie the score.

    In the fifth, the Ichabods' Erin Boles singled to left and then moved to second after the Bearcats (16-18 overall, 5-5 MIAA) committed their third error of the game. After Tanguma reached on a single to deep shortstop, Ginter drove in Boles with a sac fly as the Ichabods went up 2-1.

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