Eight straight wins catapult the Lady Cyclones to a hostee for 4A regional softball. Ottawa High School swept Paola Monday on the road 1-0 and 7-4 to end the regular season 13-3 and second-place in the 4A East Regional standings out of an 18-team field.
The top four teams in the regional standings are set to host with the tournament beginning Monday with play-in games. Ottawa will play 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Orlis Cox Complex against the winner of Monday’s play-in game between Louisburg (5-12) and Parsons (0-18). If OHS wins, it will play in the championship game set for 6 p.m. Tuesday against the winner of Chanute (11-6) and Osawatomie (8-8).
OHS got in two wins against the Lady Panthers just before bad weather hit late Monday. The team donned blue cancer ribbon shirts with the name “Batten” on the back to support the family of Trenidy Batten, who’s mother passed away Friday from cancer.
“We just wanted to come together as a team to do this,” Amber Dickey, OHS head softball coach, noted.
Freshman pitcher Alex Powell put up a strong performance in the opener, allowing just three hits across seven shutout innings. She walked two and struck out two. The deciding run came in the top of the fifth when Ottawa’s Isabelle McCarty hit a one-out triple and came home on a wild pitch.
The bats came alive early for the Cyclones in the nightcap. The first four batters reached and scored in the top of the first to give OHS a 4-0 lead. Emma Stottlemire drove in two on a one-out double.
Ottawa didn’t score again until the top of the sixth when Alli Kerns hit a sac fly to score Justine Kennington after a one-out triple. Paola responded with a two-run bottom of the frame to pull within one, 5-4.
Kristen Shaffer answered the bell for Ottawa by belting her first varsity home run in the top of the seventh. The two-out, two-run blast padded the lead and completed a three-RBI performance for Shaffer.
Stottlemire, who scored on Shaffer’s dinger, stranded two in the bottom of the seventh to save the win. She pitched 3.2 innings of three-run ball (one earned), striking out three and walking one.