By ANDY HEINTZ
Courier sports writer
---- — OTTUMWA -- The Ottumwa softball team overwhelmed an outmatched Des Moines North team Monday, crushing the Polar Bears 11-1 in game one and 13-1 in the nightcap.
The front half of the doubleheader lasted five innings, while the second game lasted only four innings.It took them a little while to get going offensively in game one, three innings to be exact, but once the Bulldogs offense got rolling, North had no answer.
"You can't come out and expect to bust things open right away, Ottumwa softball coach Frank Huston said, "but I thought we hung in there and eventually the dam broke."
The Polar Bears actually led 1-0 going into the fourth inning. Up until that point, aside from a few scattered hits here and there, Ottumwa was getting under North's Reagan Clay's pitches and hitting catchable pop flies. But, In the bottom of the fourth, the Bulldogs used an RBI single by Kassidi Henderson, who, other than bashing her first varsity home run against Des Moines Roosevelt last Thursday; has been spraying hits all over the field as of late, and an expertly placed RBI bunt single by Chelsea Griffiths to to take a 2-1 lead.
"Sometimes it [the ball] seems pretty big after you get a very big hit," Henderson said.
The two runs, however, turned out to be just a precursor to the main course the Bulldogs dished out in the fifth inning when the dam that Ottumwa's veteran coach aptly described broke loose. The Bulldogs used a potpourri of home runs, singles, doubles, walks and a conspicous triple to inundate the scoreboard with nine runs and pick up the 11-1 win in the bottom of the fifth because of the 10-run rule after five innings.
Sammons jumpstarted the inning for Ottumwa by cranking her eighth home run of the year; a long blast to centerfield that tied things up at 2-2. Then, just two batters later, Alexis Winn, who has been scorching hot at the plate lately, crushed a two-run home run that cleared the left field fence in a hurry and gave the Bulldogs a 4-2 lead.
Ottumwa amassed three more runs off a Henderson double and a pair of singles by Griffiths and Brittni Vogt to go up 7-1. Sammy Garrett followed with a triple to right centerfield that drove in yet another run. Ottumwa tacked two more runs on the board before Winn, in her second at bat of the inning, singled home Beth Overturf to give Ottumwa the 11-1 win. Mandi Moore pitched well on the mound for the Bulldogs, recording seven strikeouts, issuing two walks, and giving up one unearned run on just one hit on her way to her 11th win of the season.
In game two, Ottumwa's offense got revved up early. The Bulldogs used a pair of singles by Overturf and Henderson to jump out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Then, in the top of the second, the girls slew got a slew of singles from Winn, Ashlyn Thompson and Garrett to grow their lead to 6-0. The third inning featured much of the same and Ottumwa's lead ballooned to 9-0.
Meanwhile, Megan Robertson fanned three batters, while surrendering no runs in her first three innings of work on the mound. She ran into a little adversity in the fourth, allowing one run to score off an RBI double by North's Annie Hayes, who also started game two on the mound for the Polar Bears. But, no further damage was done in the inning, and Ottumwa still led by a cushy 9-1 margin.
The girls responded to the run by putting together a four-run inning spearheaded by RBI singles from Sammons and Garrett that secured the 13-1 victory for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the fourth because of the 12-run rule.
"These are good games from the standpoint that everyone can have some success offensively," Huston said, "because some days it's hit and miss against better pitching."
Ottumwa (18-2, 12-2) plays at Des Moines Roosevelt in CIML Metro Conference action.
Ottumwa 11, Des Moines North 1Nort 001 00 — 1 1 1 Ottu 000 29 — 11 13 1Des Moines battery — Reagan Clay (L, 1-7) (5IP, 13H, 11R, 11ER, 4K), Taylor Wisecup catching.Hits —Cassie Harrington 1-for-2.Runs — MacKenzie Gray. Ottumwa battery — Mandi Moore (W, 11-2) (5IP, 1H, 1R, 0ER, 7K, 2BB), Beth Overturf catching.2B — Kassidi Henderson. 3B — Sammy GarrettHR — Katie Sammons, Alexis Winn.Hits — Chelsea Griffiths 2-for-3 Kassidi Henderson 2-for-2, Winn 3-for-4, Sammons 1-for-3, Overturf 1-for-3, S. Garrett 2-for-4, Brittni Vogt 1-for-3, Nicole Peyton 1-for-1.RBI — Sammons, Winn 3, Henderson 3, Griffiths 2, Vogt. Runs — Sammons, Winn 2, Overturf 2, Georgia Garrett, Griffiths, Peyton 2, S. Garrett, Henderson.Ottumwa 13, Des Moines North 1Nort 000 1 —1 3 1 Ottu 333 4 —13 12 1North battery — Anne Hayes (L, 3-6) (4IP, 12H, 13R, 12ER, 1K, 4BB), Justina Negrete catching.2B — Hayes. Hits —Clay 2-for-2, Hayes 1-for-2.RBI — Hayes. Runs — Harrington. Ottumwa battery — Megan Robertson (W, 3-0) (4IP, 3H, 1R, 1ER, 3K, 2BB), Winn catching.2B — Winn. Hits — Garrett 3-for-4, Sammons 2-for-3, Beth Overturf 1-for-3, Winn 2-for-3, Sydney Strunk 1-for-3, Henderson 1-for-2, Griffiths 1-for-3, Ashlyn Thompson 2-for-3.RBI — Winn 2, S. Garrett 2, Sammons, Overturf 2, Henderson, Thompson. Runs — S. Garrett 3, G. Garrett 3, Madi Wiley.