Osky Girls Make State For First Time In School History
by Matt Saville
For the Osky girls softball team, the last two weeks of the regular season were something they would just as soon forget. Well, that’s exactly what they did as they began the State Playoff’s Monday night, at home, against longtime rival Pella. The girls came away with a 5-2 victory to advance to Wednesday night, taking on #8 Fairfield. The game against Fairfield produced what was a historic victory in a 6-0 win, moving the Lady Indians to their first Iowa State Tournament in school history. For Coach Jay Harms it has come full circle, because, after 37 seasons of coaching, he is finally going to take his team to the state tournament.
Monday night Osky got going early, as they scored 3 runs in the first inning and never looked back. The Lady Indians held off a young up start Pella team for the 5-2 win. Osky went to freshman Alexis Groet, who threw all 7 innings, allowing only 3 hits and 2 earned runs, while walking 2 and striking out 7 batters. Pella was able to chip away with 2 runs in the 4th inning, but Osky answered in the bottom half of the inning with 2. Groet was her normal workman-like self, effectively pitching to contact and keeping Pella off balance.
Oskaloosa was led on the offensive side by senior lead-off hitter Kelsie Tomlin, who went 2-4. Senior Callie Arnold was 1-2 with a double, freshman Aubrey Miller was 1-3 with an RBI, Groet was 1-2 with an RBI and junior Peyton Zickefoose had an RBI to round out the scoring for the Indians.
Wednesday night was billed as one of the biggest games in school history. The Indians welcomed the #8 Fairfield Trojans to town knowing everything on the line, for the winner would advance to the State Tournament. With a huge crowd on hand the stage was set and what the crowd saw was a complete, well-played game by the Indians and freshman pitcher Alexis Groet. Groet was beyond dominate, as Fairfield probably felt like they were surrounded no matter where they turned. Osky had their offense clicking and took advantage of costly Fairfield errors, earning the well-deserved 6-0 win and advancing to the State Tournament for the first time in school history.
Groet had a look to her right from the start, as she stood tall on the pitching rubber and was hitting her spots. She had the Trojans baffled from beginning to end as she held them to 1 hit late in the game, while allowing no earned runs, walking 1 and striking out 8 Trojan batters.
The offense, to no surprise, was led by senior lead-off hitter Kelsie Tomlin, who has set the plate for the rest of the Indians the whole season, as she went 2-4 with a triple and an RBI. Senior Kailyn Risher was 2-4 with an RBI, while junior Bethany Rowley proved that everything would be possible by hitting wisely in the game. She smoked a shot to the fence for a double and the game’s first RBI. Senior Bridgette Richards was 1-1 with a line shot back up the middle, getting an RBI, while Groet helped her cause with an RBI of her own.
With the win the Indians move to 29-9-1 on the season. They play Monday in the first round of the State Tournament against Carlisle, who is 33-2 on the season.
Osky News and the rest of the Oskaloosa community wish the Lady Indians and Coach Jay Harms and his staff the very best of luck this week at the State Tournament. Win or lose the entire team has made this community very proud of them.