OTTUMWA — Ottumwa starting pitcher Mackenzie Sheehan brazenly mocked adversity in the Bulldogs 2-0 shutout of defending Class 3A state champion Bondurant-Farrar on Friday at Huston Field.
Pleasant Valley, however, proved to be the big winner at the Ottumwa Softball Invitational. The Spartans scored 12 runs in the third and final game of the night, beating the Bulldogs 12-2 in five innings. Pleasant Valley opened the tournament with an 11-3 win over Bondurant-Farrar.
When a case of anxiety is diagnosed, adversity and extreme pressure are often the culprits. Sheehan, however, treated these two potent dangers with utter contempt in her impressive performance.
In a number of innings, Sheehan had to navigate her way around Lady Jay bases runners including a bases-loaded jam. During the innings, the junior pitcher showed no outwards signs of stress.
With the bases loaded and only one out in the top of the fourth, Sheehan got the Lady Jays' Erin Handley to hammer a grounder to Ashlyn Thompson who fired it home for a force out. The throw was a little low, but Ottumwa senior Alexis Winn expertly dug the ball out of the dirt. The next batter lined out to right fielder Chloe Davis, ending the inning with no damage done to the Bulldogs.
Kassidi Henderson started the game on a positive note for Ottumwa by drilling a savage line drive over the left center field fence to give the Bulldogs an early 1-0 lead over.
"I feel like it's one of the hardest ones I've hit recently," Henderson said. "It felt really good, too."
After Ottumwa loaded the bases in the bottom half of the fourth, Madi Wiley singled home Alexis Nelson to give Ottumwa a 2-0 lead. Sheehan continued to pitch well and the Bulldogs picked up the victory.
Kelsey Peyton gave OHS an early lead against Pleasant Valley with an RBI single. Henderson's RBI groundout brought in Chloe Davis with the Bulldogs' second run of game two in the top of the third, putting Ottumwa up 2-1 on the Spartans.