When you’re hot, you’re hot and there’s not much anyone else can do to stop you. That’s exactly what happened for the Ottumwa Lady Bulldogs as the red hot Waukee Warriors ran away with the state tournament opening-round victory by an 8-0 mark Tuesday, July 23 in Fort Dodge.
The Warriors picked up right where they left off in the playoffs working well on both sides of the ball. The Warriors hadn’t allowed a single run to cross the plate throughout the postseason while offensively, the Warriors posted up yet another flawless postseason performance with at least eight runs scored. In total, the Warriors blasted eleven hits for the game and all eight runs came via runs batted in.
Up and down the lineup, every Warrior batter recorded at least one hit which marking yet another strong offensive performance that Warrior head coach Carrie Eby was very pleased with.
“We knew we had to come out and attack this pitcher early in order to win and we sure did that here today,” said Eby. “Offensively the girls did what we needed to do and kept the pressure on them.”
That pressure started quite early and began with a big second inning for the Warriors as they belted over six hits and recorded five runs to quickly jump out to a 5-0 lead after two innings of play. The Warriors meanwhile did not allow a single hit through the first few innings which made things all the more impressive when Waukee tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the third inning.
Leading the way for Waukee offensively was Delaney Taylor who had one heck of an opening-round game going a perfect 2-for-2 complete with a triple (her second of the season) and four runs driven in. It marked yet another impressive outing for the senior who now has earned a total of 70 hits on the season complete with two triples, 15 doubles, and three home runs.
“Delaney has been a great spark for us no matter where she hits but at the top of the line up is where she thrives and because she’s seeing the ball so well, she’s having a lot of success,” said Eby.
Delaney herself has been a pillar of consistency all season long especially in the speed department where she’s captured 29 stolen bases on the season. Taylor talked about the speed factor and how it helped out in the win.
“We have a lot of speed on this team and it’s one of our strengths,” began Tylor. “It puts a lot of pressure on the other team and that’s what we were going for here today and it worked out.”
Inside the circle, the Waukee combination of Molly Jacobson and Elly Bates that has been effective this entire season was equally effective Tuesday afternoon combining for seven innings pitched, allowing a total of six hits and six strikeouts. Jacobson tossed four innings of work, gave up just two hits, and tossed a trio of strikeouts while Bates allowed four hits and tossed three strikeouts through three innings pitched. Both were instrumental in the win and both have been equal fixtures inside the circle all season long.
“Molly and Elly are so talented it’s impossible to label any one of them as my one or my two,” began Eby. “They’ve been sharing that top spot all season long and it’s worked out really well. They’re pitching styles compliment each other so well and they feed off each other so well. They’ve been each others’ biggest supporters this season.”
The two hurlers have combined for 207 strikeouts with a combined 39-3 record which includes the action from Tuesday’s game. The Warriors will now continue on with the state tournament wielding an overall record of 39-3.