OTTUMWA — A combination of outstanding pitching and error-free fielding helped the Ottumwa softball team grind out two hard-earned non-conference victories over Mount Pleasant Friday.
Seven solid innings of work from starting pitcher Mandi Moore coupled with some clutch hitting proved to be enough to yield the seventh-ranked Bulldogs a 4-2 win in game one. Then Sarah Wilson — in her first outing of the season — threw seven scoreless innings and Ottumwa prevailed 3-0 in game two. Wilson only gave up two hits to the Panthers, who took a pair of wins from sixth-ranked Centerville (3A) earlier this week.
With the infield playing in close, Ottumwa’s Olivia Roark lifted a blooper over Panthers’ shortstop Kelsi Phipps, allowing Sammy Garrett to score to put the Bulldogs in front 1-0 in the bottom of the third. Roark would eventually score on a single by Katie Sammons to make it 2-0.
Shelly Allender got the Panthers on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth with a line drive double to the left-field fence that drove in Kelsey Smith and narrowed the gap to 2-1.
Beth Overturf got things going for Ottumwa offensively in the bottom of the fourth with a double to left center. Two batters later, Chelsea Griffiths stroked a triple down the right-field line that scored Overturf.
Then Griffiths managed to score on an infield single by Sammy Garrett to make it 4-1 Ottumwa.
Moore had Mount Pleasant’s hitters either whiffing or looking at called third strikes throughout the night.
The Panthers were able to manufacture one more run in the top of the seventh, but Ottumwa prevailed 4-2.
Game two was a pitcher’s dual for most of the game. Alexis Winn breathed some life into the Bulldogs’ offense in the bottom of the third with a hard-hit double to left field. She later scored on a line drive by Roark that deflected off the glove of Mount Pleasant’s shortstop.
Morgan Heckart drove in Paige Schreiner with a single to right field in the bottom of the sixth. Then Katie Sammons scored from third on a wild pitch to Sydney Strunk that upped the Bulldogs’ lead to 3-0.
“You’re pleased anytime you can win ball games of this nature,” Ottumwa head coach Frank Huston said. “We were pretty solid in both games in pitching and defense and we managed enough offensively to win.”
Ottumwa (2-0) will take on a pair of highly-regarded teams today when the Bulldogs play in the Creekside Classic, hosted by Clear Creek-Amana. The Bulldogs will take on defending Class 2A champion Iowa City Regina, currently ranked third in 2A, at 11:15 a.m. The Bulldogs will then play Mid-Prairie, a 2A state qualifier a season ago, currently ranked second in Class 3A. That game is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Ottumwa 4, Mount Pleasant 2
Pleasant 000 100 1 — 2 6 2
Ottumwa 002 200 x — 4 8 0
Mount Pleasant battery — Jena Stukerjurgen (L) (6IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 1K, 2BB), Barbara Brau catching.
2B — Shelly Allender
Hits — Sammi Goble 3-for-4, Allender 1-for-3,
RBI — Allender. Runs — Kelsey Smith, Goble.
Ottumwa battery — Mandi Moore (W, 1-0) (7IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 10K, 4BB), Beth Overturf catching.
2B — Beth Overturf
3B — Chelsea Griffiths
Hits — Chelsea Griffiths 2-for-3, Katie Sammons 1-for-3, Overturf 1-for-3, Sammy Garrett 2-for-3, Roark 1-for-3
RBI — Sammy Garrett, Olivia Roark, Griffiths, Sammons. Runs — Garrett, Roark, Griffiths, Overturf
Ottumwa 3, Mount Pleasant 0
Pleasant 000 000 0 — 0 3 3
Ottumwa 001 002 0 — 3 4 0
Mount Pleasant battery — Goble (L) (6IP, 4 H, 3R, 1ER, 3K, 2BB), Brau catching.
2B — Allender
Hits — Goble 1-for-2, Allender 1-for-3.
Ottumwa battery — Sarah Wilson (W, 1-0) (7IP, 2H, 0R, 3K, 4BB), Alexis Winn catching.
2B — Winn
Hits — Morgan Heckhart 1-for-3, Griffiths 1-for-3, Sydney Strunk 1-for-3, Winn 1-for-2.
RBI — Heckart. Runs — Winn, Paige Schreiner, Sammons.