Indians Claim Win In Epic Contest

by Jamie Brockman

The Oskaloosa Softball team traveled to Newton Friday night for a matchup that on paper highly favored Oskaloosa. Oskaloosa was enjoying a good week, in which their bats, pitching and defense were all coming together nicely.

Newton entered the game with a very tough pitcher, Payton Maher, who had struck out 59 batters compared to just 12 walks and had an impressive 0.98 E.R.A. The Cardinals defense, however, had committed 28 errors in 10 games allowing 32 runs scored, only six of which were earned runs charged to Maher.

Oskaloosa came to play, but so did the Newton Cardinals. Maher threw a great game, and on this night, the Cardinal defense backed her up with some spectacular, highlight reel plays. Oskaloosa pitcher Hayle Hacker matched the pitching of her counterpart, and the Indians defense also made tough plays all night. Twelve innings later, Oskaloosa left with a 3-2 win after a solo home run from Faith Deronde in the top of the 12th inning.

Oskaloosa jumped out early with a run in the first inning taking advantage of two Newton errors. Newton answered with two runs in the third inning on two hits and an Osky error. The Indians evened the game in the fourth inning on two hits and an Oskaloosa error. Both defenses then tightened up shutting down the other’s offense. Newton was in the driver’s seat in the bottom of the ninth inning with two outs and the winning run on second base when Newton’s Mckenzie Brown hit a ball into shallow left field. Oskaloosa left fielder Kaylee Johnson charged in and made a game-saving diving, rolling catch to force a 10th inning.

Newton shut down the Indians in order in the tenth but couldn’t score in the bottom half of the inning. Oskaloosa had two base runners in the eleventh, but the Cardinals didn’t allow a run. Hacker then did her job and retired the Cardinals in order in the bottom of the eleventh giving her team a chance to bat again in the twelfth inning. That’s when Deronde, who doubled earlier in the game, led off with a towering solo home run to left field, her third of the young season. Maher then retired the next three batters in a row to end Oskaloosa’s half of the twelfth. With three outs to tie or win the game, Newton led off with a single, but Hacker retired the next three in order, including two strikeouts to finish the job and Osky left with the 3-2 win.

Hacker pitched all 12 innings, allowing seven hits, only one earned run, she struck out twelve batters while only walking one. Coach Jay Harms afterward said they were staying with Hacker in the circle all the way, even though she threw well over 130 pitches. “Gutsy performance. She got some really big strikeouts when she really needed them. We’re very happy with her performance.”

At the plate, Meghan Moorman had a single, Ashley Kindley laid down two perfect sacrifice bunts, was hit by a pitch, and reached base on an error and scored a run. Ava Vandewall singled, Abby Braundmeier singled, Sophie Dykstra singled, Deronde had a double along with the home run, and Kaylee Johnson singled. Coach Harms also stated, “It was a good ball game, and we’re happy to get out with a win. The kids are excited. Both teams made great plays in crucial situations in the extra innings. Maher is a tough pitcher; it’s a big win for us. We hung in and battled and hopefully, this will be a big win for our kids as we continue to battle through the rest of the LHC season.”

Oskaloosa improved to 8-2 on the season and 2-1 in the Little Hawkeye Conference. The Indians have a very busy week coming with nine games scheduled in the next six days, weather permitting, but will have the luxury of their home atmosphere as all are home games. They host Norwalk in a doubleheader Monday evening starting at 5:30 pm. You can hear both games live here on Oskaloosa News Live powered by KIIC. From there Grinnell comes to town Tuesday night in a makeup from an earlier scheduled game. Wednesday Pella comes to town, while the Indians host Indianola for a doubleheader on Friday. That leads up to another big Classic at Lacey Complex on Saturday.

Posted by on Jun 9 2019. Filed under School Activities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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