Trojans advance to regional final
OSKALOOSA – The Fairfield softball team is one win away from the state tournament, a place it has not visited since 2004.
The Trojans defeated Oskaloosa 6-1 on the road Saturday to advance to the regional final, which is 7 p.m. Tuesday in Winterset.
Fairfield scored three runs in the third, one in the fourth, one in the sixth and one in the seventh. Oskaloosa’s lone run came in the fourth.
Trojan coach Bob Bradfield said there is no such thing as a comfortable lead in tournament time. However, opening up a three-run lead did take some of the pressure off his pitcher and defenders.
“When you get a 3-0 lead, not every single play is do-or-die,” he said. “It wasn’t like we thought we had the game won, either.”
Oskaloosa’s pitcher Alexis Groet was dominant early as she amassed eight strikeouts in the first few innings of the game. Once the Trojan hitters had gotten used to her speed and style, they began making solid contact, collecting 10 hits before the game was through.
“She threw pretty well and fortunately our girls adjusted,” Bradfield said about Groet. “Our girls had to be a little bit quicker, with quicker thinking and quicker hands to the ball.”
Fairfield pitcher Alli Deao allowed one unearned run in seven innings in the winning effort. She scattered five hits and two walks while fanning four.
Katie Anderson went 3-4 with a double and two runs batted in. Sydney Burnett, who had been bothered by a sprain in her back, went 1-4 with a double and a run. Marisa Repp was 1-3 with two runs. Karley Williams singled and drove in two runs. Madison Roberts batted in a run, too. Mackenzie Harwood singled and scored.
“Alli pitched really well,” Bradfield said. “Alli pitched out of some jams and her pitches were working most of the time. She was getting ahead in the count, which was important.”
Bradfield said Winterset is a similar team to Oskaloosa but with a little more offensive firepower.
“Their pitcher is also similar to Osky’s in speed,” he said.
Winterset’s main pitcher is Karly Olson, who is 29-8 on the year with an earned run average of 1.03. Opponents are batting just .151 against her. She has struck out 304 batters and walked 40 in 243.2 innings.
“She has different pitches that move,” Bradfield said about Olson. “She’ll be tougher to hit.”