Indians One Game Away From A Trip To State

by Jamie Brockman

As heard live on Osky News Live powered by Thunder Country KIIC, The 14th ranked Oskaloosa Softball team is one win from a return trip to state following their 4-1 win at 13th ranked Norwalk Saturday night in the Class 4A Region 1 semifinal. The win earns the now 24-14 Indians a trip to Adel to face 28-6, #2 ranked A-D-M, who narrowly survived Newton 3-2 in their semifinal, in the Class 4A Region 1 final Tuesday night at 7 pm.

Osky started strong in the first inning scoring a run on an RBI single from Abby Braundmeier. With one out, Ashley Kindley walked, Ava Vandewall reached and advanced to second via error, moving Kindley to third with still just one out, Braunndmeier then ripped the single to score Kindley and the Indians had runners at first and third, but the next two batters struck out to end the top of the first inning.

Norwalk threatened in the bottom of the first with two outs getting back to back base hits, but Oskaloosa pitcher Hayle Hacker slammed the door with a strikeout to end the inning with Osky leading 1-0.

Norwalk again had runners in scoring position at second and third with two outs in the bottom of the second when Osky eighth grader Maleah Walker made the play of the game on a diving catch in center field to end the inning holding the Warriors scoreless.

Oskaloosa’s bats were hot in the top of the third inning scoring three runs. With two outs, Maddie Haines ripped a double scoring Vandewall and Braundmeier, who each singled earlier in the inning, and the Indians extended their lead to 3-0.

Once again, Norwalk had opportunities in the bottom of the third inning. Hacker walked the first two batters. Following a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third with one out, Katie Heaverlo smacked a base hit to right field scoring one run, but once again Hacker struck out the next two batters to end the inning with Oskaloosa holding a 3-1 lead after three innings.

More missed opportunities kept the Warriors scoreless through the fifth inning. Once again they had two runners on in the fourth and one in the fifth but failed to score, and had now stranded nine runners through five innings.

Oskaloosa put the final touches on with a run in the top of the seventh. Meghan Moorman ripped a one-out double, after a failed bunt attempt for the second out, Vandewall drove a base hit, scoring Macie Krier, running for Moorman. With a 4-1 lead, the Indians defense held on for the win, ending Norwalk’s season at 20-15.

Hacker, battled illness all week, was fantastic in the circle on a hot, muggy night. She pitched seven innings, allowing one run on eight hits.

In the post-game, Oskaloosa coach Jay Harms talked about two huge defensive plays made by the Indians. “Maleah, only an eighth-grader has stepped in these past couple weeks and brings tremendous speed and reads the ball so well. Then the catch that Sophia Dykstra made in that seventh inning…wow. We’ve always talked about in big games like this you gotta make big plays, and those two were huge. A frustration of Harms all season has been the number of runners they’ve left on base, and he liked the improvement he saw there. “We had some chances there in the first couple innings, and we didn’t put the ball in play, but we did a much better job of adjusting at the plate after the first couple innings and putting the bat on the ball.”

Regarding Hacker’s performance, Harms said “Give her credit, she’s been sick, she didn’t practice with us all week but pitched seven innings against Grinnell Thursday night and seven tonight in the heat. She battled through it, and that was great to see.” Regarding A-D-M, Harms pointed out that in their 38 games this season they’ve faced 26 ranked opponents which gets them ready for big matchups like they’ll face Tuesday in A-D-M.

The Indians scored four runs on eight hits, committed one error and left six on base. Norwalk scored one run on eight hits, committed one error and stranded ten runners.

Oskaloosa will travel to Adel to face the second-ranked A-D-M Tigers Tuesday night at 7 pm with the winner advancing to the State Softball Tournament. You can join Jamie Brockman and Doug Dekock for the call live from Adel here on Osky News Live powered by Thunder Country KIIC, with pre-game starting at 6:30 pm.

Posted by on Jul 14 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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