Oskaloosa’s State Softball Championship will be rooted in lore forever for many reasons.
Partially, the championship itself will be remembered for the thrilling 6-5 walkoff win the Indians pulled off after entering the 7th inning down two runs to Carlisle.
Some of the history will, of course, be saddled with this being Osky’s first ever softball championship.
But perhaps most of all, the title run will be defined by the overall effort and consistency from the entire Osky lineup.
All nine spots in Head Coach Jay Harms’s lineup had at least two hits in three games in Fort Dodge, and every single batter drove in at least one run.
Oskaloosa was not as clean as they have been at points this season defensively, but they survived through those errors thanks in large part to the timely play being made and the pitching of one phenomenal All-Stater.
While the team as a whole can feel like they had done their part, four Indians received the honor of being named to the Class 4A All-Tournament Team, which was comprised of 11 players from the four teams who made it to the semifinal round.
For Oskaloosa, it all starts and ends with the right arm of Alexis Groet. A player who has been on All-State lists since her 8th grade season, Groet showed why in her trio of games.
She went 3-0, dominating with a 1.33 ERA against the state’s best teams. Mowing down batters with 32 strikeouts and only 7 walks, there were few sustained threats against the junior all season, and especially in Fort Dodge. The one time she stumbled (in the 7th inning against Carlisle in the title game), her offense picked her up as she had so many times before.
From the offense, Aubrey Miller had the most complete tournament. Miller hit a solo home run against Perry in the quarterfinals to get Osky off to a great start and she kept hitting until the end, doubling in a run in that fateful 7th inning in the championship game.
Miller would go 6 for 10 at the plate with two doubles, the homer, two RBI, and two runs scored. Those offensive stats were in addition to Miller’s work at second base.
Helping Miller in the middle of the order was slugger Alexis Westercamp. Westercamp had a big quarterfinal game against Perry in the quarters, going 2 for 3 with what proved to be the game-deciding RBI with a third inning single. Her offensive totals for the tournament included going 3 for 8 with a double, those 2 RBI, and 2 walks drawn. She was also a steady hand behind home plate as Groet’s catcher.
The most surprising honoree for the Indians on the All-Tournament Team was freshman Ashley Kindley.
Kindley was the only 8th grader on the team in 2015, and eventually won the designated player spot that was an open battle most of the season. Kindley’s bat was hot whenever she was in the lineup, and she proved to be an important piece to the Oskaloosa puzzle.
The frosh had a huge game in the semifinals against Fairfield, going 2 for 2 with 3 RBI and a run scored. Kindley would finish the tourney having gone 2 for 5 at the plate with 4 runs driven in, a run, and 2 walks drawn. Kindley batted as the DP for pitcher Alexis Groet in all three games.
These four players show the diversity of this Indian ball club, but Coach Harms and the girls can truly say that it was a full team effort to accomplish their dream of winning a state championship.
Oskaloosa’s quartet was joined on the All-Tournament Team with Carlisle’s Alyvia Dubois, Alyssa Brown, and Gabby Schnathorst, along with Fairfield’s Kenady Waugh and Alli Deao and Boone’s Breanna Hunter and Lauren Calkins.
You can see the final play of all of Osky’s games at Fort Dodge on our Facebook page, Mahaska Zone Network. You can also hear full audio from all three of the wins on our website, radiokmzn.com.