The Ottumwa Courier


April 2, 2013

Warriors hand DMACC first loss

OTTUMWA — Bob Ligoursi is no stranger to tight tussles on the softball diamond in the City of Bridges.

Bringing highly-rated teams down to Ottumwa for games that went right down to the wire has become something of a yearly tradition for Ligoursi. Usually, that trip comes a little later in the calendar, when the conditions are much different.

“There are usually mosquitoes out and it’s a lot warmer out when I brought my high school teams down here to face Frank’s Ottumwa teams,” the former long-time head coach of the Des Moines East softball program said.

Instead of a warm July night with a CIML Metro Conference title on the line, colder early April southern Iowa weather greeted Ligoursi in his first trip to Ottumwa in his current role as head coach of the DMACC Bears. Moving up to the junior college level has done little to slow down Ligoursi’s winning ways as the second-year program came to Indian Hills Tuesday sporting a perfect 14-0 record and a No. 12 ranking in the NJCAA Division II poll.

Just like the Bulldogs have in the past, the Indian Hills Warriors made life tough for Ligoursi and his softball team. Kendle Scheiber made sure the Bears didn’t leave Ottumwa with a perfect record, tossing a four-hit shutout while driving in two runs of her own in a 5-0 IHCC opening-game win as the Warriors and DMACC split the doubleheader at Romalynn ‘R.L’ Hellyer Field.

After falling behind in game two, 4-0, the Bears rallied back to salvage a split. Jayden Ott collected three hits including a game-tying home run and go-ahead seventh-inning single as the Bears scored the final five runs in a 5-4 nightcap victory.

“We kind of came to life in the second game. I’m proud of the way our girls responded,” Ligoursi said. “We didn’t think we were going 60-0 this season, but it was great to see the girls bounce right back after taking that first loss.”

For the most part, Tuesday was a very positive day for the home-standing Warriors. IHCC scored more runs than DMACC and outplayed the Bears for the first 10 innings of the doubleheader.

Those are certainly positive aspects to build off of for Warriors head coach Jim Overturf. The lack of execution late in a close game, which included a pair of critical errors that allowed a pair of unearned runs to score, were also things Overturf wanted to see his team learn from after having to settle for a home split.

“We still have to learn how to win. We haven’t had a lot of close games like this last one that we’ve had to close out,” Overturf said. “It’s kind of a bittersweet day. I thought we played well all day, but I’m disappointed that our defense let us down in the nitty gritty late in the last game.”

The importance of the Warriors defense was evidence in the success of Schieber, who had one of her best days in the pitching circles in game one against unbeaten DMACC. Facing a team with several Iowa all-state talents, Schieber showed no fear in challenging the Bears on the way to striking out six hitters while not giving up a walk over seven shutout innings.

“I knew my defense was behind me (in that first game),” Schieber said. “Knowing my defense was behind me and I was confident in them, I was able to just it pitch by pitch from that point.”

“I’ve been doing this for a long time and I haven’t changed my philosophy,” Overturf added. “I know that equipment has changed to make the game more offensive minded, but I still think if you throw the ball in the right location then you can still win this game with your defense.”

DMACC’s defense opened the door to allow IHCC to open an early 2-0 lead when the Bears allowed Hiliary Pennington to reach base on a fielding error to lead off game one. Schieber came up three batters later and connected on a single that brought home Pennington and Felisha Durflinger to give herself the early lead.

“It’s always nice to have a lead, but it’s certainly a plus to be able to give yourself that lead,” Schieber said.

Sophomore Carrie Hudson padded that lead in the sixth inning, turning a three-run lead into five with one big swing by nailing a two-run home run to left field to put IHCC up 5-0 in the sixth.

“We’re always looking to get those insurance runs whenever we can,” Hudson said. “I just wanted to make contact. Getting two insurance runs that way was huge.”

Kaitlyn Matzen had an even bigger homer to left - a three-run drive in the third inning of game two that sparked a four-run rally that put IHCC ahead in the nightcap. No. 12 (DII) DMACC (15-1) rallied back and snapped a 4-4 tie in the seventh as a fielding error by second baseman Liz Penrose kept the inning going for Ott, who singled in Makenna Slight with the winning run.

Indian Hills next plays at the Central Tournament in Nebraska on Friday.

Text Only
  • 0731 OTT Sports Fairfield baseball Hietpas photo Fairfield falls in nine to DCG in state quarterfinals DES MOINES – Becoming the first Fairfield pitcher to start a state tournament game in 35 years didn’t seem to faze Trojan senior pitcher Joseph Hietpas. Neither did the zeroes on the scoreboard that were being posted by his counterpart. Hietpas and D

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0730 OTT Sports Shrine Bowl photo Bulldogs have fun at Shrine Bowl CEDAR FALLS — Ottumwa football coach Zach Pfantz had a blast serving as one of the coaches of the South team at the 42nd Annual Iowa Shrine Bowl at the UNI Dome Saturday. "It was a really awesome and wonderful experience and I was very thankful to ha

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0729 OTT Sports Brok Hopwood mug Three Bulldogs chosen for all-district team OTTUMWA — Three Ottumwa Bulldogs and a slew of Twin Cedars players were selected for their respective Iowa High School All-District teams. The players named to all-district squads were chosen by the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Association. Th

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0730 OTT Sports Albia baseball photo Baseball run wraps up a great year for Albia INDIANOLA — Brett Leshen walked into the dugout at Indianola High School’s baseball diamond, took off his Albia baseball jersey and headed up the hill to receive hugs from his family and friends, thus marking the end of a remarkable senior year, and

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0730 OTT Sports EBF softball trophy celebration photo EBF softball team brings trophy back from Fort Dodge EDDYVILLE — It may not have been the hardware the Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont softball team intended to come home with. But it was hardware. A trophy. An accomplishment no Rocket softball team had ever accomplished. That’s a feat that’s worth celebr

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Iowa High School State Baseball Tournament CLASS 1A Friday, July 25 Quarterfinals No. 2 Newman Catholic 7, No. 7 BGM 1 No. 6 Don Bosco 2, No. 8 Martensdale-St. Marys 1 Saturday, July 26 Quarterfinals No. 1 Twin Cedars 7, Underwood 0 No. 5 Gehlen Catholic 3, Lone Tree 0 Thursday, July 31 Semif

    July 29, 2014

  • 0729 OTT Sports Ottumwa Babe Ruth State Champs Ottumwa All-Star team advances to Midwest Regional OTTUMWA – The Ottumwa 15-year-old baseball all-star team captured the state championship thanks to an unbelievable pitching staff and near flawless defense. "Pitchers are really the strength of this team," Ottumwa coach Mike Budan said. "We have som

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0729 OTT Sports Rylee Eakins photo New recruits bolster hopes for IHCC volleyball OTTUMWA — Indian Hills Community College volleyball coach Lyndsey Lyon feels confident she has an incoming recruiting class that will shore up some of the deficiencies of last year’s squad. Lyon has announced the addition of eight former Iowa high s

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0729 OTT Sports Scott Watson mug Sprint Speedweek starts Thursday on Knoxville

    Hello race fans and welcome to The Pit Stop. Thursday night kicks off the 13th Annual Cox Design Iowa Speedweek for Sprint Cars, where there are nine nights of Sprint Car racing over 10 days scheduled between The Knoxville Raceway and The Southern Io

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0729 OTT Sports Fairfield baseball photo Fairfield set for first state baseball game in 35 years FAIRFIELD — There have been a lot of good teams and a lot of good players that have worn Fairfield baseball uniforms since 1979. None of them, however, experienced what Narendra Martin, Joseph Hietpas and rest of the young men that wore Trojan black

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Sports photo reprints