OSKALOOSA — It’s always a good night for a pitcher when you can thrive in the circle and help your own cause at the plate. Faith DeRonde had a big night in the field and with the bat as the Oskaloosa Indians shutout Pella Christian 6-0 on Monday.
“I like what we're doing right now as a team and I think we've kind of come together as a team this last week,” Oskaloosa head coach Jay Harms said. “Tonight we did what we needed to do. We had no strikeouts, I like that we had 11 hits and Faith has just been throwing the ball really well.”
Oskaloosa threatened to score early with runners on second and third with one out in the first. Abby Braundmeier would hit a high fly ball to center where PC’s Emri Agre would catch it and throw a frozen rope to home to double up courtesy runner Kassie Johnson, who tagged up from third, to end the inning without any damage. Agre showed off her defensive prowess all night with some impressive catches and throws.
The Indians would get on the board in the next inning with Lucy Roach’s sacrifice fly out to center field was deep enough for Presley Blommers to just beat out Agre’s throw score a 1-0 lead.
Oskaloosa added another run in the third with Braundmeier’s high chopper getting through the infield to score Olivia Gordon from second.
DeRonde retired the first nine Eagles she faced in order but PC would get some momentum going in the fourth inning by getting runners on second and third with two outs before Alexa Dunsbergen would ground out to third to end the threat.
Oskaloosa looked to add to their lead in the fourth and they did just that. Maleah Walker’s squeeze bunt single would score the first run before Gordon’s groundout brought in the second run. Braundmeier’s bloop RBI single would then score Walker to put the Indians in front 5-0.
DeRonde would then put the cherry on top by blasting a leadoff home run, her team-leading fourth of the season, to deep left center to start the bottom of the sixth.
DeRonde finished off her ninth win of the year in the top of the seventh to earn the complete game shutout, allowing just three hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Meanwhile at the plate, she finished a triple shy of the cycle going 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and one RBI.
“I think the last week and a half she’s really started swinging the bat well,” Harms said of DeRonde. “She had been hurt and she'd been fighting it but right now I think she's as healthy as she's been all year. You can see a real difference in her at the plate, especially when she's getting the bat through and stinging in the ball hard.”
Blommers also had a good night in the middle of the Indian lineup going 3-for-4 with a double while Braundmeier and Aubrey Boender both collected two hits.
Bailey Roose, Agre and Natalie Harrill all had one hit for PC. Dunsbergen suffered the loss after allowing six runs on 11 hits with one walk.
Oskaloosa (16-13, 9-8 LHC) travels to No. 8 (3A) Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont (23-6) on Tuesday at 8 p.m.