Fifth inning surge pushes Waukee softball onto victory in postseason play

Andrew Brown - Sports Reporter
Waukee junior Mikayla Hannam heads to first after being walked in the postseason battle Saturday, July 18 against Des Moines Roosevelt in Waukee. PHOTO BY ANDREW BROWN/DALLAS COUNTY NEWS

Thanks to a surging offensive showing in the fifth inning, the Waukee High School softball team secured the win in their postseason opener against Des Moines Roosevelt Saturday, July 18.

Sixteen hits constituted the offense for the Warriors as they bested the Roughriders 8-2 to advance to the regional championship game on July 21. As for Saturday night, there was no shortage of power for coach Carrie Eby and her squad as they produced seven extra-base hits on the evening.

It took a little bit before the offenses for both teams got going. The first time the scoreboard lit up was in the fourth inning where Roosevelt struck first for a 2-0 advantage. The Warriors made sure that was short-lived as they tied the game up at 2-2 courtesy of an Ella Parker RBI single and a wild pitch which scored Kiana Carnes from third. From there on out it was all Waukee.

The fifth inning is what gave much-needed separation between the Warriors and the Roughriders. Waukee captured five hits and turned that into four runs. A sacrifice fly by Claire Fossell started things out and gave the junior her 11th RBI of the season. That was followed up with a strong hit from Ava Smith who recorded her first triple of 2020 to plate one run herself and increase the Warrior lead to 4-2. Mikayla Hannam and Ella Parker added in two more runs each with an RBI single and an RBI double respectively. That gave the Warriors more breathing room to utilize with a 6-2 lead.

More power wrapped up the scoring efforts for the Warriors in the sixth. Reagan Bartholomew blasted her team-leading seventh home run of the season which was promptly followed by Natalie Wellet and her fifth home run of the season. That set the score at 8-2 which the Warriors would hold on to for the win.

Inside the circle, Elly Bates started things off and went five strong innings. The junior allowed just two runs on three hits but did strike out five in the process. She was followed by both Maddie Oetzmann and Sami Felt who tossed one inning each, combining to shut the door with no runs allowed and a pair of strikeouts combined.

The victory officially grants the Warriors a trip to the regional title game which takes place right back in Waukee on July 21 against Southeast Polk. That game will begin with first pitch at 7 p.m.