OTTUMWA — The No. 2 ranked (Class 5A) Ottumwa softball team used a trio of two-run homers and a whopping 15 strikeouts by Mandi Moore to defeat seventh-ranked Cedar Rapids Xavier (Class 4A) 8-3 Friday in its first Ottumwa Classic game of the weekend Friday.
Katie Sammons kicked off the Bulldogs home-run-friendly game by pulverizing a pitch that clanged off the Huston Field scoreboard in the bottom of the first. The two-run blast gave Ottumwa an early 2-0 lead.
"We make jokes about it sometimes, trying to hit the scoreboard," Sammons said, "when they told me that I did [hit the scoreboard], I thought it was pretty funny."
Later, in the bottom of the fifth, Beth Overturf cranked a two-run homer that landed just inside of the foul pole in left field, breaking a 3-3 tie and upping Ottumwa's lead to 5-3.
Then, in the inning that followed, Alexis Winn, arguably Ottumwa's hottest hitter right now, slammed a home run that landed just inside the foul pole in left field that grew Ottumwa's lead to 8-3. Olivia Roark scored earlier in the inning when a Sammons single to left field got under the glove of the Saints' Sydney Galligan in left field.
Moore pitched a solid game on the hill with a surplus of strikeouts. She surrendered three runs, only two them earned, while issuing five walks — the only negative aspect of her performance — in seven innings of work on the mound.
The Bulldogs used a four-run first inning and a five-run sixth to thrash ninth-ranked Cedar Rapids Jefferson (Class 5A) 10-5 in their second Classic game of the evening.
Trailing 1-0 in the top of the first, The Bulldogs tacked on four runs in the bottom of the first to take an early 4-1 lead against the J-Hawks. The Bulldogs run-laden first inning was highlighted by RBI singles by Overturf and Nicole Peyton.