Friday, December 19, 2014

OHS softball bats light up in split with De Soto

By The Herald Staff | 4/16/2014

The Ottawa High School softball team made big strides from last week’s losses to Baldwin.

The Cyclones split with defending 4A state champion De Soto Tuesday in Ottawa. Ottawa won the opener 10-8 and lost 9-6.

The Ottawa High School softball team made big strides from last week’s losses to Baldwin.

The Cyclones split with defending 4A state champion De Soto Tuesday in Ottawa. Ottawa won the opener 10-8 and lost 9-6.

Ottawa had 10 hits in the opener.

“The first game, our bats came to life,” Ottawa coach Joe Serna said. “We were very pleased with the intensity and focus in game one and they fought hard to get the win.”

Sophomore Courtney Clayton led Ottawa by going 3-for-3 with four RBIs.

“Courtney played like a veteran varsity player and hit well for us,” Serna said.

Sophomore Bayleigh Nelson had two hits and scored three runs.

Junior Kylie Foster had two hits and scored a run. Senior Mykenna Hadl had two RBIs.

Sophomore Shea Mesik tossed all seven innings with three strikeouts.

Ottawa’s offense was good in the nightcap as Ottawa rallied from an early hole to take a 6-5 lead in the sixth inning.

“We got down early and gave up some runs due to errors and miscommunication,” Serna said. “Kendall Blanco threw well enough for the win, but we made some untimely errors in key situations that prevented us from keeping the lead.”

Ottawa played inconsistent in the nightcap.

“This was another game we let slip away,” Serna said. “We talked after the game about increasing the defensive intensity and focus, to be ready to make the routine plays in tight situations and to find ways to get hits like we did in the first game to take some pressure of the pitching and defense.

“We told them that they have the abilities and tools to be a good team, but that we need to clean up the defense and come to practice after a tough loss, ready to work hard, to want to get better, to get ready for Gardner and Bishop Miege next week, which will be tough opponents.”

Ottawa took an early 2-1 lead on Blanco’s two-run home run in the first inning.

Freshman Ashaya Blevins, who played third base, went 2-for-3 in her varsity debut.

Serna said she was a nice addition after settling her nerves.

Blanco finished with four strikeouts in six innings.

Amy Grace-Wilson, Clayton, Nelson, Corie Fischer and Mesik had one hit each. Clayton had two RBIs.

Ottawa (2-4) plays Tuesday at Gardner.

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