The Oskaloosa softball team entered play Monday night against #5 Norwalk looking to cut into their lead in the Little Hawkeye Conference standings. They did just that, winning 9-2, as heard on the Mahaska Zone Network.
The 10th ranked Indians wouldn’t waste any time, taking advantage of early baserunners to get two runs in the top of the 1st inning. That held up until the bottom of the 4th, as Norwalk would get a clutch two-out two-run double from senior Shelby Nelson to tie the game. Both teams made mistakes reading fly balls in the outfield to lead to both scoring situations.
Both offenses would silence until the bottom of the 6th, as Oskaloosa starter Alexis Groet walked the bases loaded (one of those walks was intentional), but with two outs, she induced #7 hitter Regan Julch into a fly ball in right field that was caught on the run by Anna Jones to get out of the inning.
While that play saved the game for Osky at that moment, the offense exploded in the top of the 7th to take the game by the horns.
Josie Bunnell reached on a bunt single while batting in the #9 spot in the order for the first time this season, and would subsequently steal second. With two outs in the frame, Anna Jones, batting second for the first time in her career, poked a groundball to shortstop. She was able to use her speed to beat it out, but Bunnell got hung up between third and home. The throw home was wide of the catcher, however, and Bunnell would score the go-ahead run.
Aubrey Miller would follow with an RBI double, Alexis Westercamp had an RBI single, Alexis Vroegh singled, Alexis Groet had a two-run double to the fence, Devan Welch drew a walk, and Ava VandeWall pounded a two-run double to the wall. After the barrage, the Indians took a 9-2 lead into the bottom of the 7th, and the lead stuck for the win.
Groet was very good in the pitching circle for the Indians. Despite giving up two runs and walking four, she struck out 13 batters and allowed only four hits to a very balanced offense in Norwalk.
The Indians are now 11-2 on the season and will be back in action on Wednesday against archrival Pella at home. Pella has gotten off to a shaky start this year following their miracle run to fourth place at the state tournament last year. They still find themselves ranked 13th in the state, and Oskaloosa will need another fine outing from their offense to get the win.
That game will be broadcast on Wednesday night on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, the KMZN mobile app, and radiokmzn.com. The pregame will start around 7:15 PM for the 7:30 first pitch.