The Oskaloosa Indians were trying to make history on the softball diamond on Tuesday night, and riding another unbelievable performance from their ace, they did just that.
#7 Burlington was in town to face the #5 Indians in the Class 4A Region 5 Final with a trip to state on the line. When the dust settled, Osky would grab the win, 5-1.
Oskaloosa hit the ball well all night long against Grayhound pitcher Alivia Fawcett, getting hits in every inning but the fourth. They would plate the game’s first run in the second after singles by Aubrey Miller and Taylor Wills, which would be followed by a Maddie Haines sacrifice bunt and a Meghan Moorman RBI single.
On the other side in the early going, Osky pitcher Alexis Groet struck out the first eight she saw before allowing a couple hits in the fourth. She’d pitch around that jam to keep the score 1-0. After both teams were quiet in the fifth, Burlington brought the top of their order back up in the 6th. Slap hitting senior Mia Ruther would get her second hit of the game to lead off the inning, then she would promptly steal second. After back-to-back strikeouts, clean-up hitter Heather Geiger hit a soft grounder down the first base line. She would leg that out for an infield hit, and the throw to first from Groet would go down the right field line, allowing the tying run to score.
Into the bottom of the 6th, Oskaloosa wanted to get more runs before they fell behind. Ava VandeWall led off the inning with a double, representing the go-ahead run. Aubrey Miller would walk to follow that, and Taylor Wills would move the runners to 2nd and 3rd on a groundout to first base.
Maddie Haines would come through with a single down the left field line to give Osky the lead. Another bloop hit was hit to right field by Meghan Moorman, which set the table for senior Devan Welch, who got her second hit of the game for an RBI to increase the Osky lead. Josie Bunnell would also hit an RBI single to make it 5-1.
In the 7th, Groet would quickly retire all three batters she faced to give the Indians the win and move them to state for the third time in four years. This is also the first time in school history that Oskaloosa qualified for state in back-to-back campaigns. They won the Class 4A State Championship in 2016.
Osky advances to state where they will play on Tuesday next week at 3 PM against Mount Pleasant. The Indians are the #4 seed in the bracket with Mount Pleasant the #5 seed. You can catch all of the state tournament games for Osky on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, radiokmzn.com, and the KMZN mobile app.