SOLON — It took a great catch at first base to keep Zoey Jones from collecting a game-tying hit Saturday against Iowa City High.
Against Solon, there was no stopping Jones in her first day back in the batting line-up. The Ottumwa junior collected three hits, drove in a run and scored twice late in a 7-3 win for the 10th-ranked (5A) over the Spartans as OHS secured a split at Solon's tournament after falling 5-4 against fourth-ranked (5A) Iowa City High.
Ottumwa (6-5) nearly erased a 5-0 deficit in the seventh inning against Iowa City High, scoring four times in the final inning. Anne Guest and Amber Shotts opened the last frame of regulation with back-to-back singles for the Bulldogs.
Kacy Nickerson drew a walk to load the bases. Needing just one more out to preserve the shutout, an error on the infield allowed Hannah Huisinga to reach base, bringing home Ottumwa's first run while bringing clean-up hitting senior Jillian Heaton to the plate as the potential tying run.
Heaton kept the rally going with a two-run single to center. Josie Lemonds followed by driving in Huisinga with an RBI single on the very next pitch, sending Heaton to second with the potential tying run. Jones made a bid to bring Heaton home with the tying run before Brooke Bormann reached out to snare the liner for the final out of the game.
Jones, returning to the batting order after dealing with an injury, led Ottumwa on the day with four hits in the two games. Heaton and Lemonds both had three hits, including two of Ottumwa's four hits in the opening inning against Solon as the Bulldogs built an early 3-0 lead.
Solon rallied to tie the game in the third inning, using three walks to aid the rally that included a dropped infield fly pop up that brought home a run and a wild pitch that allowed the tying run to score. Jones singled with one out in the sixth and eventually scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Shotts, the first of Ottumwa's three runs in the inning.
Ashton Shotts overcame struggles at times with her command, striking out 10 batters to counter five walks and a pair of hit batters. The Ottumwa senior retired the final four batters of the game to clinch her team-leading fourth pitching win of the season.
Ottumwa returns home Monday to host Des Moines East in a varsity doubleheader on Monday night starting at 5 p.m. The two teams shared last year's CIML Metro Conference championship.
No. 10 Fairfield knocks off No. 1 Carlisle at CC-A Tournament
TIFFIN — Five runs in the sixth inning rallied the 10th-ranked Fairfield softball team on Saturday to a 7-2 win over No. 1 Carlisle in a battle of top-10 Class 4A squads at the Clear Creek-Amana Tournament.
Fairfield drew eight walks against the Wildcats. Peyton McCabe collected a pair of hits for the Trojans, driving in two runs in the final two innings while scoring once for Fairfield.
Allison Rebling earned the win against Carlisle in the pitching circle, allowing just two runs on two hits over seven innings while striking out eight batters. Rebling added two hits, two RBI and a run scored in an 8-4 win later on Saturday for the Trojans.
Fairfield (10-1) returns to Southeast Conference action on Monday against Fort Madison.
Cardinal picks up a pair of wins at North Mahaska
NEW SHARON — In her first varsity start in the pitching circle, Nicola McClure continued a family tradition on Saturday for the Cardinal softball program. The niece of former Comet all-state and Indian Hills Community College Hall-of-Fame pitcher Tara McClure allowed just two earned runs over nine innings in Cardinal's 6-4 win over Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont on Saturday.
The extra-inning triumph clinched a sweep for the Comets at North Mahaska's tournament. Cardinal (6-2) opened the day with a 10-6 win over the hosting Warhawks, scoring five times in the second inning and five times in the third before holding off a late rally.
Zoe Duecore's grand slam home run helped North Mahaska cut into Cardinal's 10-1 lead in the fourth. The Warhawks got within four, but would not have a chance to complete the comeback as the time limit expired after the inning.
Caitlyn Reber drove in four runs and scored twice while going 2-3 at the top of the Cardinal batting order in the opening game. Maddie Cloke added a double while going 2-3 with two runs driven in against the Warhawks before drilling a two-run home run in the fifth inning against EBF to snap a scoreless tie.
EBF (7-5) answered Cloke's home with a two-run blast in the bottom of the fifth by Emalee Davis. Both teams pushed across runs in the eighth on errors before a two-run single by Rachel Lewman in the ninth proved to be the difference for the Comets.
EBF bounced back to earn a split at North Mahawks, shutting out the Warhawks 4-0 in the tournament finale. Emma Lenox doubled and drove in three runs for the Rockets while Megan Lobberecht tossed a complete-game, three-hit shutout with five strikeouts and two walks.
Cardinal will host Central Lee in Southeast Iowa Superconference south division play on Tuesday. EBF returns to South Central Conference action in Bloomfield on Monday against Davis County.
No. 3 (3A) Albia 5, Lynnville-Sully 0
SULLY — Jena Lawrence allowed just one hit over seven innings, striking out 10 batters as the Lady Dees improved to 9-0 on the season.
Albia hammered three home runs against the Hawks, including a home run two pitches into the game by lead-off hitter Abbey Griffin. Danica Workman and Abbie Martin added home runs for the Lady Dees with Workman driving in two runs.
Lawrence went 2-3 at the plate, driving in two runs. Albia returns to South Central Conference play at Chariton on Monday night.
Clarke 7, Centerville 3
OSCEOLA — Sadie Marker doubled twice and scored twice as part of a three-hit day for Clarke in a South Central Conference weekend contest that was originally rained out on Monday.
Kiaya Dunbar had a solo home run while Emma Bolton doubled and drove in two runs against the Redettes, who jumped out to 1-0 and 3-1 leads against the Indians.
Centerville (4-2, 2-2 SCC) hosts Central Lee on Monday.