By ANDY HEINTZ Courier sportswriter @heintz23
---- — FORT DODGE – If the way the Ottumwa softball team played Tuesday wasn’t perfect, it was its closest cousin.
The Bulldogs combined clutch hitting, solid fielding and stellar pitching to shut out Cedar Rapids Jefferson 2-0 in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A state tournament. Ottumwa’s first run came when Katie Sammons, who batted leadoff instead of in her usual No. 3 spot, smoked a line drive double into a gap in left centerfield that allowed Chloe Davis to score from third to make it 1-0 Ottumwa. A few batters later, Alexis Winn added to Ottumwa’s lead by ripping a line drive single up the middle that scored Sammons and upped the Bulldogs’ lead to 2-0.
Mandi Moore pitched well throughout, as she fanned six batters and allowed only four hits in seven innings. Moore, however, was quick to credit her teammates for the rock-solid defensive support they gave her.
“It’s nice to have that great a defense behind you,” she said.
Ottumwa (37-6, 20-4) will play Johnston at 7:30 p.m. Thursday on Diamond 2 in the semifinals.