The Ottumwa softball team hammered out two more wins on Saturday at the Lacey Recreational Sports Complex, improving to 6-0 on the season with a pair of dominant victories at the 2019 Oskaloosa Classic. After topping Iowa City Liberty and former Indian Hills head coach Jeff Kelley, 8-3, the Bulldogs wrapped up the day shutting out Mount Vernon 14-0 highlighted by a one-hit complete game in the pitching circle from Ashton Brown.
Kaylee Bix and Josie Lemonds each hit their team-leading third home runs of the season. Bix hammered a two-run shot in game one, clinching Ottumwa's opening win over Liberty, while Lemonds hammered a grand slam against Mount Vernon, half of the eight runs scored by the Bulldogs in the third inning that gave OHS a 10-0 lead.
That was plenty of run support for Brown, who had her best outing on Saturday as a varsity high school pitcher. Brown allowed just two base runners with the only hit coming on an infield single by Nadia Telecky while striking out 11 Mount Vernon batters, matching teammate Kacy Nickerson by improving to 3-0 on the season.
Nickerson won the opening game in the pitching circle for OHS, allowing just four hits and two earned runs while striking out seven batters. At the plate, Nickerson collected four doubles during the Oskaloosa Classic and matched Lemonds against Mount Vernon by driving in four runs.
Amber Shotts got Ottumwa's offense going against Liberty, coming up back-to-back two-out run-scoring hits as the Bulldogs built a 4-0 lead. Abby Bowers reached base three times in the opening game, scoring on each of RBI hit by Shotts before driving in pinch runner Carley Winn in the fourth.
The Bulldogs were able to get plenty of players on to the field, including 15 players that took part in the 14-run win over Mount Vernon. Anne Guest went 2-2 at the plate in the final two innings of the tournament for Ottumwa (6-0), drilling a double before scoring in the fourth coming up a few feet short of a home run before driving in two runs with a fifth-inning single.
Ottumwa moved into the top 10 of the latest Class 5A statewide rankings last week, moving from 12th to eighth before earning a doubleheader sweep last Thursday against Ankeny Centennial. The Bulldog offense is off to a torrid start, producing the sixth-best slugging percentage in the state (.646). Only Cedar Rapids Kennedy (.704) has a better slugging percentage among Class 5A teams through the first two weeks of the season.
The eighth-ranked Bulldogs return home Monday night to face defending Class 4A state champion Des Moines Hoover in a doubleheader between the top two teams in the CIML Metro conference last year at Huston Field starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Ottumwa will return to Indianola to face the Indians for the first time since losing an eight-inning 3-2 thriller in last year's Class 5A regional finals.
Ottumwa 8, Iowa City Liberty 3
OHS 032 22 — 8 13 1
ICL 000 21 — 3 4 0
Ottumwa battery — Kacy Nickerson (W) (5IP, 4H, 3R, 2ER, 7K, 2BB), Amber Shotts catching.
2B — Jillian Heaton, Nickerson, Shotts.
HR — Kaylee Bix.
Hits — Heaton 3-4, Abby Bowers 2-3, Shotts 2-3, Morgan Greiner 2-4, Hannah Huisinga 2-4, Bix 1-1, Nickerson 1-3.
RBI — Bix 2, Shotts 2, Bowers, Greiner, Nickerson, Zoey Jones.
Runs — Bowers 2, Bix, Anne Guest, Heaton, Huisinga, Nickerson, Carley Winn.
Iowa City Liberty battery — Kinsley Robertson (L, 2-2) (5IP, 13H, 8R, 8ER, 3K, 4BB, HBP), Tiffany Jones catching.
2B — Raquel Trolliet.
Hits — Courtney Olson 1-2, Trolliet 1-2, Miranda Jones 1-3, Brylee Klosterman 1-3.
RBI — Olson 2, Trolliet.
Runs — Claire Geiman, M. Jones, Trolliet.
Ottumwa 14, Mount Vernon 0
OHS 028 13 — 14 13 0
MV 000 00 — 0 1 0
Ottumwa battery — Ashton Brown (W) (5IP, H, 11K), Zoey Jones catching.
2B — Kacy Nickerson 3, Morgan Greiner.
HR — Josie Lemonds.
Hits — Nickerson 3-4, Kaylee Bix 2-2, Anne Guest 2-2, Amber Shotts 1-1, Abby Bowers 1-2, Greiner 1-2, Jillian Heaton 1-2, Lemonds 1-3, Jones 1-4.
RBI — Lemonds 4, Nickerson 4, Guest 2, Bowers, Greiner, Heaton.
Runs — Bix 2, Guest 2, Hannah Huisinga 2, Lemonds 2, Bowers, Greiner, Jones, Nickerson, Sydney Schlarbaum, Carley Winn.
Mount Vernon battery — Amanda Roe (L, 3-2) (4 2/3IP, 13H, 14R, 14ER, 3K, 9BB, 2HBP) and Summer Brand, Mandy Morrical catching.
Hits — Nadia Telecky 1-1.