Oskaloosa will have the rare opportunity to win a state championship when the softball team faces #1 Carlisle Friday afternoon. The matchup will be difficult, but there are ways that Osky can pull off the upset.
Oskaloosa comes into the matchup at 29-7 on the season, and have rolled to the Class 4A State Championship with a 3-1 win over Perry and a 7-1 win over Fairfield. Osky’s offense has had odd moments, but have done what they needed to do to give ace pitcher Alexis Groet plenty of support. The two runs she has allowed has been on solo home runs, but the opposition has yet to put together a sustained threat against her.
While the sailing has been smooth for Osky, Carlisle had to scratch and claw to get into the state title game. They dominated unranked Charles City, 12-0, in a five-inning run-rule victory in the quarterfinals, but had to survive a 9-8 battle against conference opponent Boone. Carlisle even had to lift senior ace Gabby Schnathorst for a couple of innings before bringing her back to finish the game out.
That game can serve as a confidence booster for Osky, as Carlisle came into the state tourney batting .439 with a .490 on-base percentage. The Wildcats are stacked from top to bottom, and they have won 28 straight games. They haven’t lost a game since June 9th against previous #1 Winterset.
Carlisle’s numbers are overwhelming, and their pedigree is top-notch. Head Coach Jim Flaws won his 1,000th game as the Carlisle coach with their semifinal win over Boone. In Oskaloosa’s first trip to state in 2014, it was Flaws’s Wildcats who knocked the Indians out in the quarterfinals.
While the numbers on paper favor the top-ranked Wildcats, Oskaloosa has a dominant strikeout pitcher in Groet, and an offense that has been clicking, and it will be interesting to see if the Indians can achieve their dream of becoming the Class 4A State Softball Champions.
You can hear the game on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, the KMZN mobile app, and radiokmzn.com. The first pitch is scheduled for 12:27 PM, and the pregame will start around 12:05 PM.