It was a defensive battle for the ages Tuesday night as Class 4A’s second-ranked ADM Tigers welcomed in the Oskaloosa Lady Indians within the confines of the ADM High School campus.
Excitement filled the air as on the line was a trip to the coveted state tournament in Fort Dodge. Unfortunately for the Tigers, a dwarfed offense to the tune of no runs aided in a 1-0 loss and thus, the end of the 2019 campaign for ADM.
Indeed defense reigned supreme early as both teams combined for a mere five combined hits through the first four innings of play. No team could find the scoreboard early on although the hometown Tigers sure had their chances. In ADM’s very first at-bat of the game, junior Morgan Meyer connected on her only hit of the contest which set a spark going through the line-up thanks to a ringing double. Even though Meyer managed to find her way onto third base, an opportunity to score was missed which was a significant moment in the game as Tiger head coach Jodi Doty explained following the loss.
“Overall we had our chances but what may have hurt us more was not capitalizing with a girl at second and then at third so early on in the game,” said Doty. “Today was a mixture of good play by Oskaloosa and us not playing our game.”
It was definitely unusual as the game progressed and still the Tigers weren’t able to touch up the scoreboard. The Tigers showed signs of life later on in the game courtesy of Abbie Hlas’s team-best 14th double of the season and the 29th hit of the 2019 campaign for Emily Hatchitt. Despite all the potential, the fourth inning is where the Tigers would depart from their offense, not recording a single run or hit the rest of the game. It marked just the second time all season long that the Tigers were unable to draw a run.
While the Tigers were unable to bring home a run, the visiting Indians managed to scrape together a run shortly after acquiring the team’s first hit of the game in the fourth inning. What appeared to be a harmless runner on base turned out to be the deciding factor in the game after Oskaoloosa drove in the only run of the game on a suicide squeeze play. From then on both offenses would sputter, but with the game at a mark of 1-0 in favor of the Indians, the visiting team ended up taking the victory and ended ADM’s season a little early.
With the conclusion of the game and the season for ADM, the Tigers wrap up the 2019 campaign with an overall record of 28-7. Even with the state-bound expectations falling short, it was a season that could only be described as successful as the Tigers end the season hitting .329 as a team while slugging .455 and on-base at a clip of .400. ADM produced 319 total hits while also producing 88 total extra-base hits.
“It might not have been the outcome that we wanted but it certainly wasn’t one to be disappointed with,” began coach Doty. “I told the girls after the game that to come as far as we’ve come is something only a handful of teams gets to do and that we should be thankful. Absolutely nothing to hang their heads about.”
As for intriguing storylines, we won’t be able to discuss what would have been a compelling story for coach Doty after years of calling the game now turned coach, but never the less we still get to talk about the amazing season from such a talented individual in just her first-ever season as head coach.
“It’s been an amazing season,” began Doty. “These girls have been awesome, the community has been so supportive, and it’s been a season I won’t soon forget. The opportunity presented itself for me to become a coach and I’m so grateful I took it and was accepted to it. It’s been an extremely memorable experience and one I can’t wait to improve upon next season.”
The Tigers may have faltered this season but for those worried about the success of next season, fear not. In identical fashion to last season, the Tigers lose out on the services of just one senior, this bringing back over 95 percent of the teams’ offense and pitching phenom Abbie Hlas, who allowed just two hits all game long.