Indians Softball Starts Season Making Up For Controversial Call

by Justin Burtis

Oskaloosa softball was able to take to the field for the 2020 season as Iowa high school sports were given the green light to return to action. One of the top ranked softball teams in 4A once played four games over the course of the week, grabbing three victories to start the campaign.

Game one of the year featured a match against Pella Christian and both teams smacked the ball around throughout the contest. Hayle Hacker got the nod for the first game of the year and the junior sent the Eagles down quickly in the first. Not wasting any time, the bats got rolling in the bottom half in route to seven runs. Meghan Moorman got a lead off hit with Macie Krier running for her, the Indians got the first run of the year off a grounder by Ava Vande Wall. Abby Braudmeier, Faith DeRonde, Maddie Haines, and Sophia Dykstra all drove in runs. The final run scored on a wild pitch as Moorman ended the innings as the tenth batter to come to the plate.
The Eagles got on the board quickly after, scoring four in response and keeping the Indians in range. Hacker watched two get aboard in the top of the third but her and the defense quickly ended the threat. The offense got going again in the bottom of the third as Kaylee Johnson got a single as the Indians loaded them up. A wild pitch put one more on the board before Vande Wall drove in another. Braundmeier made it 9-4 and DeRonde 10-4 although both grounded out in doing so to end the frame.

With two more in the bottom of the sixth, all seemed well but Osky got quite the scare in the top of the seventh. The Eagles put up five runs as they went through the line up, chasing Hacker out. Her final stat line showed six innings with five Ks, 11 hits, nine runs with eight earned, and one walk. Faith DeRonde was called upon to close things out and despite giving up one hit, found a way to get the final two outs and secure the first win of the year for the Indians. 12 runs on 13 hits combined with three errors for the home side saw them to victory with Moorman pacing the team with three hits.

The team took on Grinnell in a double header next and the Indians swarmed the Tigers in game one. A 11-1 win saw Hacker picking up her second win in a row.

The team put five across in the bottom of the first. Moorman started the rally with a double and a bad throw on a play at first would score her and Maleah Walker as Vande Wall was able to reach second safely after the bad throw. She would score and Sophia Dykstra would drive in the final run of the frame.

Hacker gave up only four hits all game as she struck out three and walked two in her six innings of work. The only run scored by the Tigers came in the top of the fifth but they otherwise could not figure out the ace. The Indians would add three in the fourth and sixth to put the game out of reach, including DeRonde sending one deep into the sky for the first HR of the season. Osky scored 11 runs on 11 hits committing no errors.

They were led by three players with two hits each; Moorman, DeRonde, and Johnson. DeRonde had four RBIs to lead the way and most of the line up reached base at some point in the contest.

Game two was a bit tighter as Grinnell had a better pitching performance. DeRonde got the ball to start and she was brilliant on the day in seven innings of work. Giving up only two hits, she struck out nine and did not walk a batter as the Tigers were continually baffled by her pitching.

Things were fairly quiet through three innings but Oskaloosa finally broke the deadlock in the fourth. Working the bases loaded, it was Kaylee Johnson who put a ball into left-center field. When the center fielder could not come up with it, two runs crossed the plate. While that was all they got there, the Indians put up one more in the sixth courtesy of an RBI base hit.

With DeRonde throwing as well as she was, the Tigers could not mount a comeback and the sweep kept a perfect record going for the team.

The final game of the week saw the fortunes of the squad change. Dallas Center Grimes would be a top team and the first away trip of the year lined up two of the top programs in the state. Unfortunately, Riley Hall was on top of her stuff for DCG and locked down the potent Osky offense to only three hits in the 5-0 victory by the Fillies.

Walker, Vande Wall, and Wills got the three hits, all singles, for the team and were the only base runners as well as they could not draw a walk. Hall hit one batter and struck out three but the DCG defense was sensational on the day, logging a clean sheet in the error department.

Hacker went the distance and struggled at times though she struck out two over six innings. She walked three, gave up seven hits, and allowed five runs of which four were earned. The home team put up one in the third, one in the fifth, and three in the sixth while blanking Oskaloosa. That put the Fillies at 5-0 (4-0 Conf.) on the young season while the Indians fell to 3-1.

Standings – With DCG on top, Indianola sits second at 4-0 with the Indians a game back in third. Pella Christian follows in fourth.

Stat Leaders – Moorman has five hits to lead the team while DeRonde has 5 RBIs to lead all hitters. Four players have a double and DeRonde has the only home run on the team. Macie Krier is a perfect 3-3 stealing bases and has scored the most runs. Hacker and DeRonde each have 10 strikeouts while Hacker has walked six. Hacker also owns a 4.96 ERA while DeRonde has not given up a run.

The Week Ahead – A double header against Newton starts things off Monday with Albia coming in Tuesday for one game. Norwalk comes in Wednesday for one and Pella will come down for two games on Friday.

Posted by on Jun 22 2020. 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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