Osage walks off Hampton-Dumont in extrasJun 10, 2021 12:55PM ● By Kristi Nixon
OSAGE — Never flinching, even after early adversity, the Osage softball team outlasted Hampton-Dumont for an 11-10, eight-inning win on Tuesday.
After a lengthy battle, Victoria Schwarting’s RBI single with the bases loaded walked it off.
Just two batters in, the Green Devils lost their starting pitcher, Ashley Halbach, but that only served to drive the Green Devils the rest of the way.
Osage coach Ryan Huffman said that Halbach was going to be fine, the move was a cautionary measure, but it meant a lot of moving around and a hold up on the game that just began.
“With the way my lineup is set, we had a lot of moving parts there,” Huffman said. “I have a lot of confidence in our young kids who are getting experience and that was a great moment for them to step up and do something on the fly.
“It’s one thing before the game to be told, ‘hey, you’re going to be batting today,’ and then a couple of pitches in to move onto the field. Good credit to our players.”
Mari Fox moved into the circle after initially only playing second base with Schwarting on to second base and Jaden Francis over at shortstop.
Fox didn’t strike out many — two — but was effective enough to keep the Bulldogs at bay for four and two-thirds innings.
“I’ve never put her in an easy spot when I took over three years ago,” Huffman said. “We only had a couple of pitchers in the program. She was an eighth grader. I pitched her against Central Springs and North Butler and she has continued to get better and a great example of how hard work pays off. We have all the confidence in the world whenever she is in the circle or Ashley is in the circle. We have a good pitching staff.”
Each team broke through in the fifth, but while H-D struck for a run, the Green Devils used a lead-off hit by pitch, errors at second and right, followed by a single by Fox and double by Leah Grimm that momentarily gave the home team a 4-1 lead.
The Bulldogs pulled to within 4-2 in the sixth, but Osage also added a couple more runs to lead 6-4 into the seventh.
From there, the visitors sent 11 to the plate in the top of the inning, surprisingly so after getting the Bulldogs’ dangerous lead-off hitter and pitcher Avery Hanson to fly out.
When the damage was done, Osage faced a 9-6 deficit.
However, the Green Devils buckled down and also more than batted around to tie the score at 9-all.
During that rally, Ainsley Dodd reached on an error at second, back-to-back singles by Schwarting and Emma Grimm and then a bases-clearing double by Sydney Muller.
“(They) just don’t quit,” Huffman said. “I’m fortunate that we have a nice group of seniors here, five, who have all been a part of winning programs at our school and that will to make us win and be a great leader. Some of those clutch hits, you’ve got Ainsley Dodd, Tori Schwarting, Summer Collins, Leah Grimm, Emma Grimm behind the plate being able to handle both pitchers is outstanding.”
Once again, the Bulldogs took a 10-9 lead in the eighth, but Osage had another answer that led to Schwarting’s walk-off hit.
“That was crazy,” Huffman said. “They are a good team, well-coached. I’m sure they’ll do a lot of great things the rest of the year.”
H-D/CAL 000 011 7 1 - 10 16 4
Osage 000 042 3 2 - 12 13 4
Winning battery — Ashley Halbach, Mari Fox (1) and Emma Grimm. Losing battery — Avery Hanson and Aspen Harlan. Two or more hits — H-D (Harlan 4, Hanson 3, Kylee Whipple 3, Courtney Bower 3, Aubryee Showalter 3, Skyler Valley, Emma Showalter, Addy Showalter); O (Victoria Schwarting 3, Fox, Leah Grimm). 2B — H-D (Hanson, Valley, Ad. Showalter, Courtney Bower); O (L. Grimm, Schwarting, Sydney Muller). HR — H-D (Au. Showalter). SB — H-D (Au. Showalter); O (Sydney Muller). RBI — H-D (Au. Showalter 4, Ad. Showalter 3, Hanson, Trinity Swart); O (Summer Collins 2, L. Grimm 2, Schwarting 2, Muller 2, Ainsley Dodd).