Indians suffer first loss of season at home classic
The Oskaloosa Herald
Oskaloosa hosted its 12-team classic Saturday at Lacey Complex, posting a 2-1 record on the day.
The ninth-ranked Indians (14-1) began the day with a 6-1 win over PCM as eighth-grade pitcher Alexis Groet tossed a three-hitter and striking out 10. The second game had freshman Kylee Silliman tripling in the sixth inning for the only runs in a 2-0 shutout of Creston. The Indians suffered their first loss of the season in dropping a 4-1 decision to Bondurant-Farrar in a contest that was called with one out in the top of the sixth inning due to lightning.
Oskaloosa coach Jay Harms was pleased how the team played against some quality competition.
“We played tougher competition and faced better pitchers than we’ve been seeing,” he said. “We got a good outing from Alexis in the first game against an aggressive PCM team. Then Kylee threw a real good game and got a key hit. We did some things we needed to do in those two games. We’ve been a team that’s been in situations we’ve fought our way out of those situations, finding ways to win.
“Then in the last game, we knew Bondurant is a quality team that beat Carlisle twice. The kids still battled and we might have little tired.”
Groet spotted the Mustangs the 1-0 lead in the second inning as Krystal Pendroy drew a one-out walks and scored on a bloop single by Katie VandeWall.
But Oskaloosa came back in the fourth as Kylie Hill doubled down the left-field line and scored on Aubrey Miller’s RBI single.
The Indians added a run in the fifth as Kailyn Risher reached as PCM pitcher Payge Edwards dropped a popup and would later score on a sacrifice fly by Callie Arnold.
Oskaloosa then put the game out of reach with a four-run sixth as Miller had a run-producing double and Shawni Wills contributed a two-run single. An RBI single by Kelsie Tomlin wrapped up the scoring.
The Indians met Creston in the second game and it was a pitching duel between Silliman and the Panthers’ Haylee LaMasters.
The duo kept the opposing batters off-balanced the entire game until the bottom of the sixth when Oskaloosa broke the scoreless tie.
Peyton Zickefoose singled with two outs in the inning and Kylie Hill followed with another single that fell between the Creston shortstop, left fielder and center fielder. Silliman then delivered to two-run triple to right-center for the game’s only runs.
Silliman finished with a three-hitter as she walked two and struck out three.
The final game of the day had everyone looking to the skies as threatening weather was moving in on the complex.
The Lady Jays got on the scoreboard first in the second as Annika Ekstam doubled and got to third on a sacrifice bunt. Erin Sawatzky bounced back to Zickefoose, who tossed to Wills to get Ekstam at the plate for the second out of the inning. Tatum Ksiazek doubled to center to bring Sawatzky home all the way from first for the 1-0 lead.
The Indians countered with their lone run of the game in the third as Risher had a two-out single and Wills doubled to left to score Risher, tying the game at 1.
Bondurant-Farrar snapped the tie in the fourth and added two more in the fifth before the umpires called the game with one out in the sixth.
“We have been playing pretty solid ‘D’ (defense) and they (Lady Jays) got the runners on and hit the ball to the right side and able to score those runs to pad their lead,” Harms said. “Nothing to be discouraged about. We knew somewhere down the line we were going to lose a game. Now it’s just a matter how we battle back and play from here on out.”
The Indians will have a tough test following that loss as they host Little Hawkeye Conference leader Norwalk Monday. The Warriors are ranked 11th in 4A and are 19-1 on the season, 6-0 in the conference. Oskaloosa is 5-0 in league play.