Trojans eliminated in regional final at Oskaloosa
A trip to No. 13 Oskaloosa was all that stood in between the Fairfield softball team and a berth in the Class 4A state tournament.
The Trojans, however, lost to the Indians 6-0 Tuesday. Fairfield amassed just one hit, and struggled to get into a rhythm.
“We’d like to think on a different night we could have done better at the plate,” Fairfield coach Bob Bradfield said. “But when you have as many popups and strikeouts as we did, it’s fair to stay their pitcher was in control the entire night.”
The Oskaloosa starter was Alexis Groet, a hard throwing freshman who now owns a 1.65 ERA and has struck out 178 batters this season. Through seven innings she allowed just one hit, which was a single from Sydney Burnett, and one walk, which was to Brynna Bowman. The Trojans were overmatched with the Indians’ number one in the pitcher’s circle.
Fairfield had a tough game behind starting pitcher Alli Deao as well, giving Oskaloosa (29-9-1) six errors to work with.
“[Groet] dominated us offensively and I think it was our worst defensive game of the year,” Bradfield said. “When you’re facing a pitcher performing like that, you can’t make errors and give them chances.”
No. 8 Fairfield trailed just 3-0 entering the bottom of the sixth. The Indians mounted a rally and drove in three runs to extend their lead. Seniors Kelsie Tomlin and Kailyn Risher both had RBIs in the inning.
Deao finished her season with six innings pitched, five hits and two walks allowed, three earned runs and two strikeouts. Just a sophomore, Deao went 17-6 this season with a 2.17 ERA.
The matchup was the exact opposite of last season’s game between the two teams, which happened a round earlier in the playoffs. Fairfield defeated Oskaloosa 6-1, and it was the Indians who were let down by their defense. Groet and Deao both pitched in last season’s game as well.
Overall, Fairfield finishes the season with a 30-7 record and a Southeast Conference championship. The squad will lose just two seniors, Marisa Repp and Burnett, and thus will have most of its talent returning. After two-straight seasons of falling in the regional final, the Trojans will seek to break through the barrior next season.
“We had a great season and won the conference,” Bradfield said. “But right now we’re thinking about what could have been.”
Class 4A Playoffs
Class 4A Regional Finals (07/15)
Oskaloosa 6, Fairfield 0
LeMars 3, Fort Dodge 2
West Delaware 2, Waverly-Shell Rock 1
Solon 9, North Scott 1
Clear Creek-Amana 6, Washington 1
Carlisle 8, Indianola 2
Norwalk 7, Ballard 3
Dallas Center-Grimes 7, Boone 0
Class 4A State Quarterfinals (07/21)
Dallas Center-Grimes vs. LeMars
West Delaware vs. Norwalk
Oskaloosa vs. Carlisle
Solon vs. Clear Creek-Amana
Class 5A Softball Regional Finals
Johnston 12, Sioux City East 0
Waukee 6, Ankeny 1
Cedar Rapids Jefferson 1, Dubuque Senior 0
Pleasant Valley 6, Davenport West 0
Southeast Polk 12, Cedar Rapids Kennedy 0
Muscatine 11, Ottumwa 0
Dowling Catholic 8, Ankeny Centennial 1
West Des Moines Valley 12, Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln 2
Class 5A State Quarterfinals
Johnston vs. Waukee
Muscatine vs. West Des Moines Valley
Dowling Catholic vs. Pleasant Valley
Southeast Polk vs. Cedar Rapids Jefferson