By BURDELL HENSLEY
The Oskaloosa Herald
The Oskaloosa softball team was coming off a very disappointing pair of losses at Washington Tuesday night.
They were in need of a tonic when they faced Knoxville in a Little Hawkeye Conference battle on the home diamond Wednesday night and senior pitcher Kenzie Gott provided good medicine in a 6-0 victory.
Gott sailed through the first 6 2/3 innings without allowing a hit.
Erica Fee was the last hope for the Panthers and Gott quickly threw two strikes past her. Then on a 1-2 count, Fee hit a sharp grounder between third and short for a base hit to break up the no-hitter.
Jory Wallace followed with a bloop single behind third for the second hit before Gott fanned the final batter to slam the door.
This was not the first time the Panthers had spoiled the party for Gott according to Oskaloosa coach Jay Harms.
“They did it to us in the regional opener last year,” Harms said. “In that game we were one strike away from a perfect game. They got the hit and then tied the game. We had to go into extra innings to get the win.”
The Indians got a run in the first as Gott and Kelsie Tomlin led off with singles. Kylie Hill was the courtesy runner for Gott, but she was erased at third by a force out by Mac McGraw. Shawni Wills moved the runners up with a ground out and Peyton Zickefoose ripped a shot up the middle to score Tomlin.
The score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, Bethany Rowley lined a single to right and Kailyn Risher legged out and infield hit. The Panthers had a pair of throwing errors and the runners moved to second and third. Gott’s ground ball was errored and both runners scored.
The Indians bats began to rumble a little in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Zickefoose coaxed a one out base on balls and Kesley Kollasch boomed a drive off the fence in left-center. But a ground out and a pop up ended the inning without a score.
The breakthrough came in the sixth. Hill opened the inning with a walk and Gott drove a double down the left field line. Tomlin’s ground ball was misplayed scoring Hill. McGraw followed with a screaming drive off the top of the left field fence for a double to score courtesy runner Alexis Vroegh Wills then singled scoring Tomlin with the final run of the game.
Tomlin led the Indianns with three singles, Gott and Kollasch each added a double and a single and McGraw belted a double.
“It was good to see the bats wake up in the late innings,” Harms said. “Knoxville is a young club and they hung in there and battled. They made some plays early to stay in the game.”
With the win, the Indians move to 3-0 in the Little Hawkeye Conference and 10-4 overall. Friday they will be at Pella Christian for a JV-varsity encounter. Saturday they will be in the Woodward-Granger tourney where they face Perry and No. 2 ranked Winterset.
Oskaloosa 6, Knoxville 0
K 000 000 0 — 0 2 4
O 100 203 x — 6 12 1
Oskaloosa battery — Kenzie Gott (W, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K and Shawni Wills.
2B — Gott, Mac McGraw, Kesley Kollasch.
Hits — Gott 2-for-3, Tomlin 3-for-4, McGraw 1-for-4, Wills 1-for-4, Peyton Zickefoose 1-for-3, Kollasch 2-for-4, Bethany Rowley 1-for-3, Kailyn Risher 1-for-2. Runs — Alexis Vroegh, Tomlin 2, Rowley, Risher, Hill 1. RBI — Tomlin, McGraw, Zickefoose, Wills.