In a pair of near flawless outings, Class 5A’s fifth-ranked Waukee High School softball team kept their record clean with a doubleheader sweep over Dowling Catholic Monday, June 29.
Game one got off to a roaring start and used an eight-run third inning to secure a 10-0 shutout while game two went the full seven innings and due to an early advantage yet again, game two fell to the Warriors 7-2. Hits were not shy to come by Monday as the Warriors combined for 25 hits while defensively allowing just ten hits.
Over 65 percent of Waukee’s run production has come in the first three innings this season and game one against Dowling was no different. With a shutout inside the circle and ten hits across the first three innings, Waukee fans saw their team up 9-0 heading into the fourth inning. A lot of that had to do with the eight-run third inning that saw seven different batters record a hit. The inning was highlighted by Heidi Wheeler who kicked off the inning on a single to center field and followed that up with a two-run triple. Reagan Bartholomew, Lily Chiafos, Ella Parker, Elly Bates, Macy Weiss, and Mikayla Hannam all pitched in with hits in the inning as well.
Parker tacked on Waukee’s final run of the game on an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to help secure the 10-0 win. Inside the circle, Bates was once again strong with six innings pitched and four strikeouts without a single earned run allowed. Those four strikeouts helped the junior to move into the top five list in total strikeouts thrown across the 5A field this season.
Game two fell along similar lines for the Warriors who once again shot out of the gates early with a 3-0 advantage following the first inning. Waukee showed once again why they lead Class 5A in batting average (.404) as four batters struck a hit in the opening frame. Following Wheeler’s seventh double of the season, Bartholomew picked up her 16th RBI of the season on a sacrifice fly, one of two runs driven in for the sophomore in the game. A Weiss triple and a Sami Felt RBI single brought the game to a 3-0 mark entering the second inning. Weiss captured her second of two RBI’s on her third triple of the season to put the Warriors up 4-0 entering the fourth inning.
Dowling made a game of it with a pair of runs plated in the fourth inning, but thanks to a Bartholomew double and a Hannam single, the Warriors answered with two of their own, thus owning a 6-2 advantage following the fifth inning of play. Wheeler added in on the triple parade and brought home the seventh and final run for the Warriors in the bottom of the seventh for the eventual game winning score of 7-2.
“This team is really disciplined and they do a good job of not reaching,” said head coach Carrie Eby earlier in the week. “We work a lot on the little things and these girls do a lot of that offensively and defensively.”
Inside the circle, Sami Felt and Maddie Oetzmann combined for a six-hit, two-run outing with four combined strikeouts and just six combined hits allowed.
It’s safe to say that with a top-five ranking and a 14-0 record, that any question marks that Waukee began the season with have been wiped away. A lot of that, as Eby said earlier Monday, had a lot to do with the experienced gained by the stars of today.
“We practice with both JV and varsity at the same time often,” began Eby. “A lot of these girls have experienced what it takes to be successful from the upperclassmen last year. Even though we didn’t have many returning starters this season, we still had a lot of girls who could step in and handle varsity competition well.”
Inside the circle, coach Eby has employed four pitchers total this season, three of which have taken a good share of the workload, something that has been appreciated by the Warriors and the coaching staff.
“We’re lucky to have the high-caliber type of girls that we do inside the circle,” said Eby. “They all do a great job.”
The Warriors are now 14-0 after the doubleheader sweep. Up next will be a road contest on Wednesday, July 1 as they battle 14th ranked Southeast Polk beginning with game one first pitch at 5 p.m.