June 18, 2013

Norwalk wins battle of ranked teams

by R.D. KEEP
herald correspondent


Patrons who attended Monday’s Oskaloosa-Norwalk softball game received their money’s worth. 
No. 9 Oskaloosa was hosting Little Hawkeye Conference and 11th-ranked Norwalk. The Warriors used a two-run home run to edge the Indians, 4-2.
“It was a battle of two of the top teams in the state,” said Oskaloosa coach Jay Harms. “The crowd came out and really got their money’s worth.”
For Oskaloosa (14-2, 5-1), it was the second loss of the season, but to a very respectable ball club. Harms said before the contest, that Norwalk was likely the best team his squad had seen. Norwalk’s schedule includes a loss to Class 5A Indianola.
“You look at their schedule, they have played some good teams," said Harms. “Their freshman pitcher and our eighth grader, Alexis (Groet) kept their teams in the game.”
Norwalk (20-1, 7-0) took the early lead in the top of the first inning taking advantage of a single, walk and Oskaloosa error that would have allowed only one run. 
Oskaloosa answered with a run of its own. Leadoff hitter Shawni Wills singled and with one out, leftfielder Callie Arnold hit a single to score Wills.
Oskaloosa tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning following Kylie Hill’s two-out double. 
In the top of the fifth, Norwalk received a two-out homer from Paige Dickel to seal Oskaloosa’s fate.
Arnold was the only Indian to reach base in their final three at bats. 
While somewhat disappointed with the outcome, Harms was pleased with his team’s effort.
“Coach (Chris) Arnold and I were talking about how we would bounce back after the loss on Saturday,” said Harms. “We came back from Saturday and came back when were down tonight, we just couldn’t get the bats on the ball when we needed it.”
Norwalk’s freshman pitcher Taylor Goode had a slightly better outing than her eighth grade counterpart did. Goode scattered sic hits and struck out five. Groet scattered six hits and struck out seven, but walked three batters. One of those ended up scoring.
“Alexis threw really well,” said Harms. “She had good command of her pitchers. She put the homerun pitch right where we wanted it. She (Dickel) is a good hitter and she went out after it.”
Oskaloosa traveled to Albia Tuesday and plays at Pella Friday.
No. 11 Norwalk 4, No. 9 Oskaloosa 2
N     200     020     0     —     4     6     0
O     100     100     0     —     2     6     1
Oskaloosa battery — Alexis Groet (LP, 7 IP, 4 R, 7 K 3 BB) and Shawni Wills.
2B — Kylie Hill.
Hits — Wills 1-for-3, Callie Arnold 3-for-3, Hill 1-for-3, Aubrey Miller 1-for-3. RBI —Arnold.
Norwalk battery — Taylor Goode (WP, 7 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 5 K) and Calyn Thompson.
HR — Paige Dickel.
Hits — Devin Brown 2-for-3, Mel Stevens 1-for-3, Sierra Nelson 1-for-3, Dickel 1-for-3, Sidney Zepnak 1-for-2. RBI — Dickel 2.