OSKALOOSA — OSKALOOSA – There a lot of things that determine a good season.
If you are a team that graduated lots of good players, you might consider a .500 season as a success. In many cases, 20 wins is the bench mark that determines success.
A 30-win season most certainly qualifies. The Fairfield Trojan softball team picked up their 30th win in the Class 4A, Region 6 Semifinals by downing Oskaloosa 6-1 Saturday night in Oskaloosa.
The Trojans and the Indians each put their chances to advance in the hands of a young pitcher. The Indians started freshman-to-be Alexis Groet and the Trojans countered with Alli Deao, just a year older.
The teams were scoreless through the first two innings, but the Indians wasted back-to-back base hits by Callie Arnold and Peyton Zickefoose in the first. Fairfield would break the scoreless tie by scoring three runs in the third. Sydney Burnett reached on an error with one out. Kenady Waugh kept the inning alive with a two-out hit. After a walk and another Indian error, Karley Williams delivered a two-run single to put the Trojans up 3-0.
“I haven’t been hitting the best lately so I was glad to be able to have a hit to score runs,” said Williams. “We always know we need to get more runs, so I wasn’t sure that my hit would be all that we needed.”
The Trojans went up 4-0 with a single run in the top of the fourth. McKenna Ledger led off with a single and Katie Anderson had her second hit of the game with two outs to score pinch runner Brynna Bowman.
The Trojans had five hits through four, but Groet had eight strikeouts.
“I think the second time through the line-up, we started to make the adjustments at the plate that we needed to make,” said Fairfield coach Bob Bradfield.
Oskaloosa scored their only run in the fourth. Zickefoose led off with her second hit and, after a Trojan error, scored on an RBI single by Aubrey Miller. Two other runners reached base, but the Indians left the bases loaded.
“Early in the year, we were picking up those runs,” said Oskaloosa coach Jay Harms. “We just have struggled with the timely hit the last half of our season.”
The score was still 4-1 after five, but the Trojans added a single run in the sixth. Another Oskaloosa error put the first Trojan on base and, after a Sydney Burnett double, Anderson’s third hit scored the run.
“After missing all of last year, I feel like I’m just now starting to hit like I should,” said Anderson. “I've been in these situations before and that helps.”
Deao blanked the Indians in the sixth and seventh.
“Alli was hitting her spots with all of her pitches,” said Williams.
“It really helps our defense that she is throwing strikes,” added Bradfield.
Fairfield tacked on another unearned run in the seventh. Madison Roberts drove in the run with a sacrifice fly.
“We knew we’d have to have a solid defensive game,” said Harms. “We thought that if we got a lead early, we’d be okay but the five unearned runs really kept putting us in a hole.”
Oskaloosa ends the season at 23-11. The 30-11 Trojans will travel to Winterset Tuesday night to take on the seventh-ranked Huskies with a berth in the Class 4A State Softball Tournament on the line at 7 p.m.
Bradfield talked about what his team will need to do to keep moving on and qualify for state.
“We want to continue to use our speed on the bases and hopefully, we won't leave runners on base.”
Class 4A, Region 6 Semifinals
Fairfield 6, Oskaloosa 1
FF 003 101 1 --- 6 9 3
Osky 000 100 0 --- 1 5 4
Fairfield battery – Alli Deao (W, 16-6) (7IP, 5H, R, 4K, 2BB), Karley Williams catching.
2B – Sydney Burnett, Katie Anderson.
Hits – Burnett 1-for-4, Anderson 3-for-4, Kenady Waugh 1-for-4, Marissa Repp 1-for-3, Mackenzie McClure 1-for-3, Williams 1-for-4, McKenna Ledger 1-for-3.
RBI – Anderson 2, Williams 2, Roberts.
Runs – Burnett, Waugh, Repp 2, Brynna Bowman, Mackenzie Harwood.
Oskaloosa battery – Alexis Groet (L, 16-5) (7IP, 9H, 6R, ER, 8K, 2BB), Shawni Wills catching.
Hits – Callie Arnold 2-for-4, Peyton Zickefoose 2-for-4, Aubrey Miller 1-for-3.
RBI – Miller.
Runs – Alexis Westercamp.