OTTUMWA – Monday night just wasn’t their night.
Wednesday and Thursday night, however, were much different stories for the top-ranked softball team in Class 5A.
The Ottumwa Bulldogs showed the heart of a champion by getting back on track in the race to regain their CIML Metro crown with four important bounce-back wins over a 48-hour span. Ottumwa excised the demons that haunted them Monday in back-to-back losses at No. 6 (4A) Indianola Wednesday, earning road wins that were anything but easy at Des Moines East as the Bulldogs rallied in game one for a 9-3 victory before holding on late in game two to complete the sweep with a 3-2 decision.
There was no drama needed on Thursday in the Bulldogs’ return home to Frank Huston Field. Kassidi Henderson got her biggest night at the plate of her varsity career off to a smashing start by nailing her first varsity home run, a three-run shot, that sparked the sophomore shortstop to a four-hit night and lifted Ottumwa to a 12-0, four-inning win over Des Moines Roosevelt in game one of a Metro doubleheader.
Henderson also drove in six runs in the contest and scored three times, including sliding home with the 10th and final run of game two as the Bulldogs completed their second sweep in as many days with a 10-0 five-inning shutout in the nightcap.
“It was a pretty good night for me at the plate,” Henderson said. “From that first swing at the plate, it was huge boost for my confidence. I think as a team, these last two days were big for us to get our confidence back after Monday.”
“Getting Indianola into our conference means we have to play three conference doubleheaders a week,” Ottumwa head coach Frank Huston added. “Six games in four nights are quite a bit, especially when you have to log travel like we did. I was pleased with our energy and, obviously, the performance.”