OTTUMWA – Although it wasn’t the last time the Ottumwa softball team’s nine seniors will grace Huston Field, that doesn’t mean the Bulldogs sweep of Des Moines East Monday was devoid of meaning – or history.
On a night that honored Ottumwa’s large senior class -- tied for the largest class ever in the softball program’s venerable history — The Bulldog used a successful combination of clutch hitting and tremendous pitching to defeat the Scarlets 7-1 and 10-2. Appropriately, the games were ornamented with important contributions from the Bulldogs’ large cast of seniors. In game one, after seniors Sammy Garrett and Olivia Roark had kicked off the bottom of the first inning with consecutive singles, senior Katie Sammons blasted a towering 3-RBI home run to right centerfield. The blast was Sammons’ 14th homer of the regular season, tying the all-time regular season record at Ottumwa.
“It really means a lot to me that I was able to do that my senior year,” Sammons said. “It’s definitely an accomplishment that I’ve been working toward this season.”
Several batters later, senior Sydney Strunk tattooed a single to right field that scored Chloe Davis. Also, Roark, in her second at bat of the inning, singled home Sammons to grow Ottumwa’s lead to 6-1.
Defensively, Mandi Moore was a dominant presence on the mound, as she imposed her will on the Scarlets. In her seven innings of work on the hill, Moore fanned an eye-opening 14 batters and, perhaps more importantly, only issued two walks.
Garrett drew a walk and went on to score on a Sammons sacrifice fly to centerfield in the bottom of the fourth, upping the Bulldogs lead to 7-1. Roark, whose hitting has peaked just in time for postseason, went 3-4 at the plate, Sammons drove in a team-high four RBI and Garrett singled and scored two runs.