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Oskaloosa Ousted In 2-1A Softball Title Game, Finish Second For Third Time In Four Years
By Jake Spalding
Copyright: MSC Sports
05/25/2019
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Pratt, Kansas

 

Twenty Three and Two. Oskaloosa's season came to an end Friday finishing the 2-1A Softball State tournament with a 2-1 record and placing 2nd in the state.

Oskaloosa took care of business in the semifinals versus #6 seed Hutchinson-Trinity Catholic by a final score of 6-1. Sophomore Asa Kesinger pitched seven quality innings allowing just one run on 8 hits while striking out seven. The Bears were balanced at the plate, with a team batting average of .367 in the game, connecting on 9 hits and drawing 5 walks. So for the third time in four years, Oskie was in the state title game, this time facing off with top seed St. Mary's Colgan from Pittsburg.

Colgan had no problem in their first two games leading up to the state title game, winning by scores of 17-0 and 14-0. After Reese Curry led off the game with a single and later came around to score on an RBI single by twin sister Regan Curry, Oskaloosa took a 1-0 lead to the bottom of the first, but stranded the bases loaded. Runners left on base, will be a stat that head coach Lisa Braun will look back on as an Achilles heal to this title game. Kesinger got the nod to toe the slab to begin the title tilt, but struggled in the early going allowing the first three Colgan batters to reach safely, all with singles. A wild pitch gave way for an opportunity for the first out as catcher Sophia Rockhold hustled to the ball and fired it to the covering Kesinger who applied the tag on Colgan's Sophia Pachuli for the first out. Kesinger would then walk the next batter to load the bases again before the Bears defense stood tall and recorded two consecutive outs to strand the bases loaded.

Oskaloosa's bats were quiet in each of the next 3 innings, while Colgan's stayed hot. Plating 6 runs, including a grand slam by Colgan's Katelyn Crossland, and knocking Kesinger out of the game in the second inning Colgan took command with a 6-1 lead. That was the score heading to the bottom of the fourth before Colgan scraped four more runs across and forcing Braun to bring in Faith Lowe to shut down the panthers. Leading 10-1, Colgan breathed easy, but a little too easy. Top of the 5th inning saw the lead-off batter for Oskaloosa, Paige Lowe, crank a solo HR and start a 5 run inning that also saw a 2-Run HR by Megan Miller. Faith Lowe would keep the Panthers at bay the rest of the game while Oskie scraped 1 more run across in the 6th, but ultimately couldn't erase what was a 9 run deficit with the Bears leaving 10 runners on base in the game.

Twenty Three and Two is a record that anyone would love to have at the end of their season, but for Oskaloosa, 24-1 would have sounded much better. Losing three seniors to graduation in Paige Lowe, Megan Miller and Natalie Barnett, the Bears bring much depth back next season as they still seek after the first state title in Oskaloosa Softball history. Maybe the 4th time is the charm for the Bears, if they can get back to the state title game next year. Only time will tell, but for now, anyone who sports the red white and blue can be proud of the year these girls had.

TOURNAMENT STATS :

unofficial

PITCHING – E. Stember 8.2IP, 7K, 6H, 7ER, 7BB – A. Kesinger 8.0IP, 7K, 12H, 4ER, 4BB – F. Lowe 2.1IP, 0K, 3H, 0ER, 0BB

BATTING - Ree. Curry 8-12, 6R, 1 RBI, 1BB - Reg. Curry 6-10, 3R, 3RBI, 2BB - M. Miller 6-11, 2 HR 6RBI 3R, 1BB – P. Lowe 5-10, HR, 5R, 3RBI, 2BB – S. Rockhold 3-6, 3R, 3RBI, 4BB – Faith Lowe 2-7, 2R, 2RBI, 1BB – Lindsay Schupp 2-8, 1R, 2RBI – Ellie Stember 2-8, 1R, 1RBI, 1BB – Brianna VanHoutan 2-9, 2R, 1RBI, 1BB – Asa Kesinger 0-1.


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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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