OTTUMWA – No matter how far they go or where the journey takes them, the season never seems long enough for Indian Hills head softball coach Jim Overturf.
The sixth-year coach of the Warriors was hoping that this year, at least, the third time would be the charm for the season to last a little longer then the previous two. Hopefully, the same ending wouldn't be written by the same team in the same game.
Indian Hills tried to avoid losing the Region XI softball tournament title for a third-straight year to Iowa Western. The Warriors faced the 12th-ranked Reivers twice over the weekend at Romalynn "R.L." Hellyer Field and fought the two-time regional champs to the final inning in each game with multiple chances to beat Iowa Western.
The Warriors were so close to regaining the regional title on their home diamond. Instead, they will travel back with Iowa Western to Council Bluffs as the Reivers capped a perfect 3-0 run through the regional tournament over the weekend by holding off IHCC 6-4 in the sixth and final game, clinching the title on Carrie Hudson's groundball to second with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh.
"It's never how you dream of it, but I'm very proud of the girls," Overturf said. "I'm really excited about the way they fought and stayed in it. They wanted this as bad as anybody. They came out and tried to get it done. Unfortunately, they came up a few runs short."
"I give credit to our people. They played hard to the end."
The drama of this year's Region XI softball tournament was something that lasted throughout all six games. The Reivers, who dropped two-straight games at Hellyer Field to close out the regular season to IHCC on Thursday, nearly found themselves having to battle out of the losers' bracket immedately as fourth-seeded Southeastern scored the first four runs of the tournament and held a 6-2 lead on Iowa Western in the opening game of the tournament Saturday morning.