Offense dwarfed as Waukee sufferers first two losses of the season

Andrew Brown - Sports Reporter
Dallas County News

For the first time in 2020, the second-ranked Waukee High School softball team tasted defeat, losing both games in a doubleheader matchup against West Des Moines Valley in Waukee Thursday night.

For some teams, eleven hits across two games would constitute a very good night, but for a Warrior team averaging ten hits and eight runs per game, it was on the lighter side. Waukee fell in game one following a four-run third inning by the visiting Tigers 6-3 while just three hits in game two hurt Waukee in a 5-1 loss.

Inside game one, the Warriors produced eight hits and suffered just one error but they had fallen in their first loss of the season. Valley jumped out to an early 1-0 lead following the first inning and then padded the lead even further with a four-run third inning on a single and a home run, just the second long ball allowed by Warrior hurler Elly Bates at the time.

The only offensive output reflected on the scoreboard for Waukee came in the fourth inning when the Warriors plated three runs to shrink the deficit to a 5-3 ball game. The offense for the Warriors included a trio of hits and began with a Natalie Wellet single. The first score for Waukee came on a fielder’s choice to score Wellet. The following two runs for Waukee came on an error and an Ella Parker single. Unfortunately, the normally potent Waukee offense produced just two hits the rest of the game and the Warriors suffered their first loss of the season.

“We learned about our identity last night,” began head coach Carrie Eby. “Taking care of the small things in practices and games so they don’t become big innings.”

Inside the circle, Bates had a bend but not break mentality allowing ten hits but just a pair of earned runs. The junior bumped her strikeout total to 55 on the year with five strikeouts in the game one defeat.

Game two for the Warriors held even less offense as just three hits constituted the offensive makeup of their offense. Heidi Wheeler provided the offensive attack with a sixth-inning blast, her first home run of the 2020 campaign. Freshmen Ava Smith and Maddie Oetzmann accounted for the other two hits in the game for the Warriors. Unfortunately for Waukee, those other two hits did not provide more runs on the scoreboard, and the Warriors ended up falling for the doubleheader sweep.

Inside the circle, Oetzmann and Sami Felt teamed up for the pitching efforts. Felt struck out one batter while Oetzmann downed four Valley Tigers. Felt walked just one with four earned runs while Oetzmann walked three without an earned run given up.

It was the first time Waukee had been swept in a doubleheader battle since late June of 2018. Waukee now rests with an overall record of 16-2 as they wrap up the weeks’ worth of action. Next up on the docket will be a doubleheader home battle with Ankeny Centennial Monday, July 6.