SOLON – Neither rain nor extra innings nor time limits could keep second-ranked (5A) Ottumwa from finishing off an impressive weekend of softball in winning style.
A return to CIML Metro conference action, however, stunningly did on Monday.
After playing 20 innings Friday to get two wins, including 13 against ninth-ranked (5A) Cedar Rapids Jefferson, the Bulldogs played a standard 14 innings Saturday in contests that were anything but standard at the Solon Invitational. Beth Overturf drove in three runs, including two on a decisive double in a 6-4 win over Iowa City Regina to open the Invite in a game that was lengthened by a rain delay, then shortened to six innings by a time limit.
That win was followed by a phenomenal pitchers’ duel between Ottumwa sophomore Megan Robertson and Cedar Rapids Prairie senior Katie Kuch. The two hurlers matched zeroes for seven innings in the final game of a thrilling weekend for the Bulldogs, which ended with yet another victory as OHS scored twice in the eighth to earn a 2-1 victory in their finale at Solon.
Those wins seemed to set up the Bulldogs for a showdown this week for the CIML Metro Conference lead with Indianola, the fifth-ranked team in Class 4A. Instead, Ottumwa was stunned Monday night in game one of their Metro doubleheader at Des Moines Hoover as the Huskies pulled off a 4-2 win over the Bulldogs to leave OHS three games back of the Indians heading into Wednesday’s doubleheader at Huston Field.
Coming off a marathon 4-2 victory at Jefferson on Friday night, Ottumwa came out slightly sluggish in the noon opener at Solon with Regina. The Regals took advantage, scoring single runs off Brittni Vogt in the third and fourth innings to take a 2-0 lead.
A fielding error allowed Katie Sammons to lead off the fourth by reaching base. After Alexis Winn walked, Sydney Strunk and Kassidi Henderson both struck with RBI hits. Henderson would go on to add a solo home run later in the contest after Regina cut a 5-2 Ottumwa lead down to 5-4 with a pair of runs off Mandi Moore, who came on in relief of Vogt after a 60-minute rain delay.