Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 19, 2018

Indians escape Panthers in eight

MP softball team falls on walk-off double in extra innings
Jul 19, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Allison Buckert makes a sliding catch in center field.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News


FT. DODGE — Mt. Pleasant gave defending champion Oskaloosa all it could handle in Tuesday evening’s Class 4A quarterfinal matchup.

The Panthers battled right down to the bitter end, but an RBI double by Meghan Moorman ended their championship dreams in the eighth inning, as Oskaloosa pulled out a 3-2 victory.

It didn’t look too promising early on for Mt. Pleasant. Oskaloosa star pitcher Alexis Groet struck out the first six Panthers of the game and allowed just one hit, a Trinity Krabill single, over the first three innings.

While the Panthers struggled to find their offense, Cali Liechty kept the game even, shutting Oskaloosa down in the first three innings.

Mt. Pleasant had two runners on in both the third and fourth innings, but couldn’t push a run across. In the top of the fourth, a Jackie Fraise line drive turned into an inning-ending double-play, which shifted momentum into Oskaloosa’s favor.

The Indians loaded the bases in their half of the fourth with one out, and finally broke the tie on a sacrifice fly to shallow left field. Anni Liechty collided with Glaha in the outfield to make the catch but Oskaloosa’s Ava Vande Wall scampered home for the first run.

Makayla Cam singled to start off the fifth and eventually came around to score on a double by Glaha, who would prove to be the Panthers’ offensive hero on multiple occasions. The Indians escaped the jam with the game tied, however, and it was 1-1 after 4.5 frames.

The contest remained a 1-1 tie until the bottom of the sixth, when Oskaloosa’s Taylor Willis sent a solo home run to center field to reclaim the lead at 2-1.

With three outs to go, the Panther offense answered the call again.

Allison Buckert blooped an infield single to right field and stole second base, all with one out. Groet was able to get the next two batters out, but Glaha came through once more.

On a 3-2 pitch, the junior left fielder sent a bouncing ball over the third baseman’s head, allowing Buckert to hustle around third base and slide into home safely.

“I was just hoping that I wouldn’t have to be the last out in the game,” Glaha said. “Two years ago, we were here, coach sent me home and I was the last out of the game. I just didn’t feel right and I wanted to redeem myself I guess.”

A. Liechty nearly gave the Panthers the lead on the next at-bat. She sent a long fly ball into center field, but Indian center fielder Anna Jones made a running catch that saved a run and sent the game into the bottom of the seventh.

The Indians had the potential winning run on second base in the bottom of the seventh inning, but C. Liechty escaped the jam again, getting the third out on a fly out to center, which ended regulation and sent the game into the eighth.

“ That’s the Cali we love,” Mt. Pleasant head coach Troy Mears said after the game. “She’s a fighter (and) her emotions don’t change from first pitch to last pitch. I thought she did a great job.”

Unfortunately for the Panthers, Groet gathered herself and survived the meat of the Mt. Pleasant lineup, setting Oskaloosa up for a walk-off winner.

The Indians put the first two runners on in the eighthwith a leadoff walk and an infield hit. C. Liechty forced a pop-up for the first out, but Moorman got a hold of one and sent a double to center, just over the outstretched glove of a retreating Buckert at the fence.

After the game, Mears said it was a shame that either team had to lose, and praised the play of Groet, who finished with 11 strikeouts.

“We weren’t touching (the pitches) early on,” he said. “She’s by far the best (pitcher) we’ve seen. We knew she’d be good (but) early on in the game, she was real good.”

C. Liechty gave up just three earned runs on seven hits and two walks. She struck out four batters over her seven and one-third innings.

Glaha finished 3-4 with a double. Buckert was 1-2 with a run. Cam was 1-3 with a run. Krabbill finished 1-3, and Bailey Johnson reached twice on hit-by-pitches.

In other Class 4A action, top-seeded Winterset held off a late Sergeant Bluff-Luton run to win 5-2, second-seeded Fairfield suffered a walk-off loss to Charles City 5-4, and third-seeded Ballard topped Carlisle, 11-5.

The Panthers will play two games today (Wednesday). Mt. Pleasant is scheduled to face Sergeant Bluff-Luton at noon and either Fairfield or Carlisle in their final game of the week at 4 p.m.


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