The Oskaloosa and Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont softball teams met for their annual non-conference matchup and as usual, the teams put on a classic performance. In the end of this one, however, Oskaloosa was able to get the win over the Rockets for the first time since 2012. The Indian seniors would lead the way on the night they celebrated Senior Night to get the 9-6 win.
The game was back and forth from the start as both offenses proved to be hot on a cool June night.
Oskaloosa would start sophomore Josie Bunnell in the pitching circle to give Kylee Silliman a rest in between conference starts. This being Bunnell’s second ever varsity start, there was little familiarity between the Rocket batters and Bunnell’s delivery, but it didn’t matter, as EBF would score quickly in the top of the 1st on an RBI double by Haegen Boyer.
In the bottom of the 1st, Osky would get right back at starter Randie Richmond and the Rockets by getting a couple of runners on for senior Alexis Vroegh. Vroegh would hit a fly ball to the wall in left field to plate two runs to give Osky the lead.
Both pitchers worked through quick second innings and that would bring the top of the Rocket order to the plate in the 3rd. The Osky lead would disappear in a flash as Richmond would hit a two-run infield single to give EBF a 3-2 lead. Oskaloosa would not be able to score in the bottom of the 3rd, and EBF got a couple more runs in the 4th to stretch their lead to 5-2.
The bottom of the 4th proved to be the big momentum swing in the game, as the Indians would get two clutch two-out hits. After an error allowed Ava VandeWall to reach base and senior Taylor Green bunted her into scoring position, Bunnell would help herself out by hitting her first extra base hit of the season, lacing a double over the right fielder’s head to knock in a run. Senior Kylee Silliman would follow her with her second home run of the season, a two-run bomb over the left field wall that would tie the game.
EBF would immediately retake the lead in the top of the 5th by taking advantage of some defensive misplays on the Indian infield to score one run to go ahead 6-5. Oskaloosa again would have the answer, as Alexis Westercamp would double to lead off the bottom of the 5th and would score on a fielding error. With two runners on and two-outs, Bunnell would come through again with her second double of the game and of the season, this one into the left-centerfield gap. The go-ahead run would score, but another potential run was cut down at the plate on a fantastic relay from the Rocket defense.
Bunnell would retire the Rocket batters in order in the top of the 6th, and Osky would tack on two more runs on RBI hits by Aubrey Miller and Ashley Kindley to take a 9-6 lead heading into the 7th. Oskaloosa would bring in senior Kylee Silliman to finish the game in the pitching circle, and she would pitch a scoreless inning to record the save.
With the win, Oskaloosa is now 23-3 on the season with the end of the year in sight. Regional play begins for the Indians on July 9th, so this is the best time of the year to be playing this kind of softball. EBF fell to 25-5, as the loss snapped a 14-game winning streak.
Oskaloosa is back in action on Wednesday night against Norwalk in the final conference matchup of the season. Osky clinched the outright Little Hawkeye Conference championship with their win over Newton on Monday, but they would love to keep this hot streak alive and improve their winning streak to 11 games.
You can hear that broadcast on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, the KMZN mobile app, and radiokmzn.com with the pregame show beginning at 7:15 PM for the 7:30 first pitch in Oskaloosa.