OXFORD– They danced in the dugout and they danced on the diamond.
The Clear Creek Amana (CCA) varsity softball girls were having fun while taking care of business Monday, June 17, in a doubleheader against the Vinton-Shellsburg Vikettes. The Clippers took the opener 9-0 and held on for a 6-4 win in the nightcap.
In the opener, RBIs by Molly Villhauer and Grace Chabal gave CCA a 2-0 lead after the first inning. Eden Campbell singled in the second inning and returned to the dugout to don her catcher’s gear while Amy Brant took her place as a courtesy runner. Brant stole second and made it to third on an overthrown ball before coming home on a sacrifice by Megan Beckler.
Campbell and Beckler had RBI singles in the third and Villhauer RBI’d in the fourth for a 6-0 lead. In the fifth, Courtney James hit an RBI single and Mallory Neubauer knocked out an RBI double. Villhauer doubled in the sixth, advanced to third on a Chabal sacrifice and came home on a base hit by Marisa Henze.
Chabal pitched all six innings with eight strikeouts.
The Vikettes put up more of a challenge in the nightcap despite being shut out in the first two innings. Tara Walls and Villhauer hit RBIs in the first inning while James and Neubauer drove in a pair of runs in the second. A two-RBI single by a Vikette put Vinton-Shellsburg on the scoreboard in the top of the third. An RBI triple by Henze and a sacrifice fly-out RBI by Villhauer gave the Clippers a 6-2 lead.
In the fifth inning Clipper pitcher Meredith Hochstetler found herself in a tough situation as the bases loaded up. An RBI single gave the Vikettes their third run and kept the bases full. Lexi Kinnaird relieved Hochstetler after the fourth run scored on a batter hit by a pitch. Kinnaird got a key strikeout to end Vinton’s half of the inning. Beckler made a diving, rolling catch for the Vikettes’ second out, and then made the throw to third to gun down a runner for the double play and game-ending third out.
The wins improved the Clippers’ record to 11-9.
The Clippers are on the road in Marion Monday, July 1, before playing in the Ottumwa tournament Friday and Saturday, July 5 and 6. The Class 4A postseason begins with a regional first round game on Thursday, July 11, at a location to be determined. The second round is set for Saturday, July 13, with the regional final on Tuesday, July 16.