Junge did not get to play in the sectional game last year due to a broken ankle suffered in practice.
On Wednesday, the hard-throwing junior got her chance to help the Mustangs and she made up for it with another outstanding performance as Marquette got payback with a 5-2 win over Washington in a Class 4 sectional rematch at Marquette High School.
Marquette (26-3), winners of fourth straight, advances to play Cor Jesu or Seckman on the road Saturday in a Class 4 quarterfinal. Cor Jesu and Seckman was suspended at a 5-5 tie due to darkness as that sectional will be completed Thursday afternoon.
“It feels good to beat them (Washington),” Junge said. “We know that they’re a good a opponent and we just really wanted this one.”
Junge had a big hand in this one as she struck out 10 Bluejays batters and allowed only three hits. She also had a two-run homer that erased a 2-0 deficit and got the Mustangs dugout jacked up.
“She’s done so well this year just locking in and dealing with pressure,” Marquette coach Amy Doyle said. “Just locking in and dealing with pressure and focusing on what she needs to do to get the job done. She’s done a great job for us.”
Marquette used Junge’s homer, her pitching, and some timely late small-ball to beat Washington (20-10), a Class 4 semifinalist last season.Washington broke out in front in the second on pitcher Elizabeth Quathem’s two-run homer. Junge locked in after that and became virtually unhittable, retiring 11 straight at one point.
“You know that if you make it this far in the season you’ve got to be a good hitting team,” Junge said. “So when I gave it up it was like ok I know you can do it, so I just tried to not let it happen again.”
Junge wiped out the early hole with a two-run blast to left center for her third homer of the season.
The score stayed even until the bottom of the fifth when Marquette used some crafty infield work with the bats to take control. Mackenzie Gareau reached on a a hard infield hit to third base that was bobbled. “I think it kind of brought up the energy level and I was just looking to put it in play,” Gareau said.
Gareau’s hit along with slick bunts from Abigail Richmond and Lillian Knesel that were misplayed by the Bluejays, helped put the Mustangs ahead for good. Senior outfielder Alyssa Werner and senior catcher Kelsey Lenox each knocked in runs with groundouts, pushing the lead to three.
“We made some defensive errors in the fifth inning but like I told them we have won plenty of games from the other team doing that and we lose some when we do it, so it happens,” Washington coach Phillip King said.
Junge allowed just two walks and only 2 runners to reach base in the final 5 1-3 innings of work.
“No matter what she gives up we always believe in her (Junge),” Gareau said.
Marquette, which made the Class 4 tournament in 2015 is looking for their second trip to the Class 4 semifinals and the Mustangs feel confident that they have more softball left to play.
“We only have a couple of new players this year, so we have a good team culture going and we all work well together,” Junge said.