Oskaloosa junior Callie Arnold missed much of last season with a torn ACL.
So far this season, she hasn’t missed a game and delivered one of the biggest hits of the season with her one-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning in the 11th-ranked Indians’ 2-1 win over Knoxville Friday night.
The final inning began when Bethany Rowley coaxed a walk from Panther pitcher Emily Wallace and Kailyn Risher replaced Rowley as the baserunner. Shawni Wills bunted Risher to second and Kelsie Tomlin singled to right to put Risher at third base. On the first pitch, Arnold drilled a single to left to close out the well-played game.
“Bethany did a good job coming off the bench and drew the walk. Shawni got the bunt down and Kelsie came through with the hit,” Oskaloosa coach Jay Harms said. “Callie’s been swinging a good bat all year and came through with the big hit.
“She’s (Arnold) our leading hitter this year and just missed a home run by inches which would have really blown it open. To come back with a second chance and come through.”
It was Arnold’s second game-winning hit in three days as her two-out double in the seventh beat Pella on Wednesday night.
The game was scoreless until the fifth when both teams got on the scoreboard.
After a Lucy Olson fielder’s choice put the Panthers ahead, Oskaloosa (16-4 overall, 7-2 LHC) knotted the game, thanks to alert baserunning by eighth-grader Aubrey Miller.
Miller started the inning with a single then surprised Knoxville by racing to third on a Risher groundout. Wills then ripped a single to right score plate Miller, tying the game at 1.
“We did some things we needed to do to play heads up and stay in the ball game,” Harms said. “We made some mistakes and gave them a run. It was good that we came right back because we’ve struggled in the last six games scoring runs (11 in those six games).
“Aubrey’s played a lot of ball in her short career and has seen a lot of situations. It’s just heads-up on Aubrey’s part.”
Oskaloosa goes to Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont Tuesday.