Osky softball sweeps #12 Grinnell to snap skid

By Sam Parsons

The Oskaloosa Indians softball team entered Monday night’s doubleheader against #12 (3A) Grinnell on the heels of a difficult week that saw them go 0-6 against some tough competition, including games against #6 (4A) Indianola, #2 (4A) Dallas Center-Grimes, and #7 (4A) Norwalk. With a 6-15 record and a 7 game losing streak active, the Indians were searching for a morale boost against a ranked conference foe.

They were able to find it in the first game of the doubleheader. After Grinnell struck first in the top of the 1st inning with Gretta Dodd scoring on an error, the Indian bats came alive in the bottom of the 2nd. After 8th grader Cylee Smith and sophomore Shannon Van Rheenen both rapped singles and junior Hailey Harbour reached base after getting plunked, junior Kassie Johnson came to the plate with the bases loaded and 2 outs and came through with a bases-clearing triple to take a 3-1 lead.

Grinnell responded with 2 runs in the top of the 3rd to tie the game at 3-3, courtesy of two singles and an error. But Oskaloosa took the lead right back in the bottom of the frame as senior Maleah Walker led the inning off with a triple, senior Lucy Roach walked, and then Cylee Smith hit an RBI double to drive Walker in. A suicide squeeze by junior Lydia Van Veldhuizen and an RBI groundout by Van Rheenen capped off the inning to make it 6-3 Oskaloosa.

The Indians would not relinquish the lead from there. Another offensive outburst came in the 6th inning when the team plated 6 runs on 4 hits. Van Rheenen went the distance in the circle, racking up 8 strikeouts and giving up 5 hits and 5 runs (2 earned). The game finished with a 13-5 final as Osky snapped their 7 game skid.

Cylee Smith would get the ball to start the nightcap, which turned out to be much more suspenseful than the opener. Smith ran into trouble out of the gate with the Tigers’ Ella Grife, Gretta Dodd, and Rhiannon Rees all collecting singles, scoring two runs in the process. The Indians would answer with three of their own, however: Haylee Parker reached on an infield single, and then Maleah Walker reached on an error to set the stage for an RBI single from Smith to help her own cause. Lydia Van Veldhuizen would bring Walker in with a suicide squeeze bunt, and an error would bring in Jenna Harbour running for Smith to make it 3-2 Osky after 1.

A scoreless second was followed by Grinnell evening the score. Ella Grife led off the 3rd inning with a double, and then Gretta Dodd drove her in with a 2-bagger of her own to make it 3-3. That was the extent of the damage that the Tigers would do on Smith, however, as the 8th grader lasted 5 frames, giving up 3 earned runs on 5 hits with 4 strikeouts and no walks allowed.

Osky’s bats were held mostly silent in innings 2-5 by Grife in the circle, but with the game still tied 3-3, they got going in the bottom of the 6th. Lucy Roach and Cylee Smith – who had 5 hits across the twin bill – led off the inning with back-to-back singles. A flyout and a groundout would put runners at 2nd and 3rd with two outs for Hailey Harbour, who took the first pitch she saw to the opposite field and drove in two runs with a single to make it 5-3 Oskaloosa entering the final frame.

Grinnell would make it an interesting conclusion: an error, a walk, and a single loaded the bases with no outs, but Katelyn Van Compernolle grounded into a fielder’s choice with Mayci Andrews getting thrown out at the plate to keep the score 5-3. Gretta Dodd would follow with a single, but it only yielded one run; another fielder’s choice grounder to Roach resulted in another big out at home, and then Kylee Bond flew out to right field to end the game at 5-4 Indians.

The sweep boosted Osky’s record to 8-15. Their next game comes on Wednesday with a home matchup against Pella Christian. That game will be broadcast on KMZN 740/99.5 and on radiokmzn.com.


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