OSKALOOSA — The 13th-ranked Oskaloosa Indian softball team punched its ticket to state with a 6-0 win over No. 8 Fairfield in the Class 4A, Region 6 final Tuesday night in Oskaloosa. The Indians used a dominant pitching performance from Alexis Groet, just enough hitting and flawless defensive play to secure the trip to Fort Dodge.
Oskaloosa coach Jay Harms, who will be taking his first team to state, talked about his team's play.
"We didn't play so well against Pella Monday night, so I was a little concerned. (Tuesday), we played with a great focus and we played about as good as this team can play.”
Groet began her dominance of the hard-hitting Trojans from the outset. The Osky freshman retired the Trojans in order for the first three innings.
Fairfield was shaky in the field through the early innings, which proved to be costly. They would have an error each inning through the first four innings, which would lead to three unearned runs by the Indians.
Oskaloosa failed to score in the first, but scored two unearned runs in the second. Kylee Silliman reached on an error to open the inning and, after a one-out walk to Alexis Westercamp, Bethany Rowley doubled to drive in the first run which would have been plenty for Groet to protect.
“I had no idea that the run might be the winning run. We always need to get more," said Rowley. "My hitting has been a little iffy lately, so I felt good about it (Tuesday).”
Groet's groundout scored the second run.
Fairfield started the fourth still hitless and their first two hitters went to the bunt to try and get on. The Oskaloosa corner infielders handled the opportunities, but Fairfield picked up its first base runner as Brynna Bowman drew a two-out walk.