Warrior softball picks up the sweep on senior night

Andrew Brown - Sports Reporter
Waukee's Lilly Chiafos fielding a ball during the home battle with Ankeny Centennial Monday, July 6. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRYCE MUSGROVE

There aren’t too many ways to better honor a senior class than with a doubleheader sweep. That’s exactly what the Waukee softball team did Wednesday night as they welcomed in Urbandale, defeating the J-Hawks in two games 9-5 and 9-8.

The Warriors struck for 21 hits which surprisingly isn’t the most Waukee has struck in a single game this season. Regardless, it was enough to push two more wins onto their record which now stands at 20-2.

Game One:

Game one was a classic tale of strike early, defend late. Unlike 17 other contests, Waukee was not first on the scoreboard but did answer Urbandale’s two-run top of the third by plating three runs of their own in the bottom half of the third. Reagan Bartholomew’s second triple of the season initiated Waukee’s scoring by plating two runs with a shot into the outfield gap. Natalie Wellet stepped up next and broke the tie to send Bartholomew back to home plate on an RBI single. Heidi Wheeler struck for her 15th and 16th RBI of the season in the bottom of the fourth to increase Waukeee’s lead 5-2.

Waukee’s efficient hitting style has allowed them to average nearly two to three hits per inning this season. In the bottom of the sixth in game one, Waukee struck for three hits exactly which helped to plate four more runs. Freshman Maddie Oetzmann made the J-Hawks pay for their two errors in the inning by driving a ball to right and scoring one run. Fellow freshman Ava Smith drove in another run followed by a Bartholomew RBI single and another J-Hawk error to bring the Warriors nine runs for the contest.

Not only did Waukee take full advantage of four Urbandale errors, but they were led inside the circle by another strong performance from junior Elly Bates. Needing 82 pitches to get through five innings, Bates issued just three walks, five hits, and a mere three earned runs while striking out five in game one.

Game Two:

Game two was a dream game for anybody who craved offense as both teams combined for 23 hits and 17 total runs. For the Warriors, they were on the winning side of that mark with nine runs on 12 hits.

Inside the circle, Sami Felt went the distance striking out five while allowing 11 hits and 7 earned runs in the offensive battle. Offensively, Felt was backed up by six batters recording a hit in the contest. Following an Urbandale run in the top of the first, Waukee answered by blowing past their average of 1.6 runs per first inning by plating four. Four singles and an error pushed across those four runs as Macy Weiss poked her first of three hits followed by an RBI single from Claire Fossell and another Urbandale error.

Urbandale managed to even up the score at 4-4 following four innings of play, but Waukee hung tough and plated five runs across the next two innings, beginning with a three-spot in the fifth inning. Weiss poked in her second RBI of the game along with a Bartholomew RBI single and an Isabel Monaco RBI groundout to constitute the action for the inning. Heidi Wheeler accounted for the two runs in the sixth inning with an RBI single and scoring on a J-Hawk error. Those two runs proved to be the difference as Urbandale used the long ball to bring the score to a 9-8 mark but from there, defense would secure the win for the Warriors.

The sweep now provides the Warriors with a 20-2 record which means Waukee is one of just four teams in Class 5A with two losses or less as they wrap up their regular-season home schedule. Next up for Waukee will be a road trip to wrap up the week as they travel to Ottumwa Huston Field for a showdown against the Bulldogs Friday, July 10. Game one of the doubleheader will begin at 5 p.m.