Oelwein softball head coach Bob Lape is focused on his young team enjoying the game. Winning helps, but it’s not the top priority.
“We’ve got a young team, we have to have some fun, we have to learn as we’re going,” he said after the Huskies won their home opening 13-1 in four innings against Dunkerton.
Oelwein has won two games in a row to start this COVID-19 pandemic-delayed season, which is something the Huskies have not done since June 22, 2018, when they topped West Central in a doubleheader.
“We’re not going to worry about winning and losing,” Lape said. “We’re going to worry about our development and getting better with the fundamentals on how to play the game; and making sure we’re having fun so they keep coming out and we keep getting better.”
Oelwein has scored 29 runs in its first two games. On Tuesday, junior Naomi Goede and freshman Zoey Risner led the charge. Risner was 2-for-3, including a triple. She knocked in three runs and scored one herself. Goede went 1-for-3, with a double and one walk. She collected three RBIs and scored once.
Junior Kennedy Lape got the win by pitching four innings and striking out eight. Four of those Dunkerton batters went down swinging. Dunkerton scored an unearned run with the help of a hit batter and two errors.
The Huskies sealed the game in the bottom of the inning that began with Lape roping a line drive to left for a single, followed by ninth-grader Emma Smock hitting a grounder fumbled by Dunkerton’s infield. Risner sent another grounder to left, scoring Lape.
Sophomore Madison Kunkle was hit by a pitch to load the bases and sophomore Jill Prouty worked a base on balls to score 8th-grader Mallory Bratten, who was pinch running for Smock.
Risner scored on a pass ball and 8th-grader Alexis Berryman blooped a single into shallow left, scoring Kunkle. With Berryman on second and Prouty on third, 8th-grader Libby Gearhart grounded out, but scored Prouty for run 11.
Berryman scored when a Dunkerton error helped Goede beat out a throw to first on her grounder. The game ended because of the 12-run differential rule.
The Huskies put up seven runs in the second inning. Oelwein gained four baserunners because of wild pitching. Junior Karlie Wegner, Kunkle and Gearhart were each hit by pitches and Berryman walked. Kunkle scored first when Dunkerton misplayed Prouty’s bunt by overthrowing first base.
Goede hit a three-run double. Risner launched a two-run triple. And, Lape had a run-scoring single.
The Huskies will host New Hampton on Friday. The junior varsities will play at 5:30 p.m. followed by the varsities.
Scoring by inning
DUNKERTON 0 0 0 1 — 1
OELWEIN 0 7 0 6 — 13