INDIANOLA — There may not have been a berth to the state tournament on the line Thursday night.
That didn’t lessen the sweet taste of victory at Indianola for the eighth-ranked (5A) Ottumwa softball squad. After being shut out for the first time this season by the Indians in game one, 6-0, the Bulldogs rallied in a big way in game two scoring seven runs on just two hits, including a grand slam by Jillian Heaton, that lifted OHS to an 11-9 win in game two over the Indians.
"It was a pretty crazy second game. The ball was flying all over the park," Ottumwa head softball coach Frank Huston said. "Nothing was easy, but we did a great job fighting back to get that win."
The win was the first in three years for the Bulldogs over the Indians. Ottumwa lost three close games to Indianola last year, including a 3-2 loss in their last visit to Indianola in the Class 5A regional finals that ended on an eighth-inning walk off home run by Parker Mathews.
Anne Guest brought in Hannah Huisinga in the sixth inning, reaching on a fielder’s choice as Huisinga scored ahead of a throw to home plate to tie the second game at 5-5. The Bulldogs loaded the bases and broke the tie when Kacy Nickerson, who suffered the pitching loss in game one, drew a walk that brought in the go-ahead run.
After Morgan Greiner drew a second straight bases-loaded walk, giving OHS a 7-5 lead, Heaton unloaded the bases with one swing delivering what proved to be the decisive hit in the nightcap as OHS opened an 11-5 lead on the grand slam. Indianola rallied back within 11-9 in the seventh, but a fly out to left with a runner on ended the bid of another walk-off win for the Indians over the Bulldogs.
Ottumwa (8-2) will return home on Monday night for a CIML Metro conference doubleheader against Des Moines North. First pitch is 6 p.m.
Indianola 6, Ottumwa 0
Ottumwa 000 000 0 — 0 8 1
Indianola 230 010 x — 6 11 1
Ottumwa battery — Kacy Nickerson (L, 3-2) (6IP, 11H, 6R, 4ER, 4K, 2BB), Amber Shotts catching.
Hits — Morgan Greiner 2-2, Zoey Jones 2-3, Hannah Huisinga 1-3, Abby Bowers 1-3, Shotts 1-3, Nickerson 1-4.
Ottumwa 11, Indianola 9
Ottumwa 040 007 0 — 11 6 1
Indianola 211 100 4 — 9 13 2
Ottumwa battery — Ashton Brown (W, 5-0) (7IP, 13H, 9R, 8ER, 4K, 9BB), Zoey Jones catching.
2B — Kacy Nickerson.
HR — Kaylee Bix, Jillian Heaton.
Hits — Nickerson 1-2, Sydney Schlarbaum 1-2, Morgan Greiner 1-3, Heaton 1-4, Bix 1-4, Jones 1-4.
RBI — Heaton 4, Greiner 3, Bix, Anne Guest, Nickerson, Schlarbaum.
Runs — Hannah Huisinga 2, Jones 2, Nickerson, Greiner, Heaton, Bix, Abby Bowers, Guest, Jones.