With North Douglas and Central Linn currently occupying the top two spots in the Class 2A/1A Special District 3 softball standings, Oakland probably has been overlooked as another top-tier team.
The Oakers showed they can compete when they remained in third place in the league by sweeping a doubleheader with Mohawk on Monday in Oakland, winning 17-1 and 10-0. Both games were stopped after five innings due to the 10-run rule.
Oakland (12-3, 8-2 SD3) is one game behind Central Linn (19-2, 12-1) in the loss column. North Douglas (19-1, 12-0) is in the driver’s seat.
North Douglas was No. 2, Central Linn No. 4 and Oakland No. 9 in last week’s 2A/1A coaches’ poll.
“This is a solid team,” coach Johanna Held said of the Oakers, who only have one senior. “I think we’re deeper than most teams. Our strength is in pitching (with Andrea Bean). We’re still up and down offensively. If we see the ball, we’re hitting well but have trouble adjusting to the pitching.”
The Oakers scored 13 runs in the bottom of the first inning of the opener. Three Mohawk pitchers combined to issue 15 walks in the contest.
Senior shortstop Grace Witten was 2-for-3 with three runs and two RBIs for Oakland. Paige Smith went 1-for-1 with three walks, three runs and two RBIs, Bean scored three runs, and Kelsie Collins and Aubrey Templeton each knocked in two runs. Shianne Kelm had three RBIs.
Bean, a junior right-hander, allowed five hits and one earned run. She struck out 10 and walked one.
“Andie is definitely stronger and faster this year,” Held said. “She’s added another pitch to her repertoire.”
Oakland closed out the nightcap with eight runs in the fifth.
Sophomore catcher Kylie Pfaff led the Oakers’ 11-hit attack, going 4-for-4 with two runs. Hannah Zyzniewski was 1-for-1 with two RBIs and Grace Witten doubled.
Bean tossed a two-hitter with five strikeouts and one walk.
The Oakers’ infield consists of Kelsie Collins at third, Grace Witten at shortstop, freshman Ellie Witten at second and Smith at first. Centerfielder Gabby Parnell anchors the outfield.
Mohawk (6-8, 5-6) is tied with Lowell for fifth place in league.
Oakland resumes league play Tuesday at home against Riddle.
Mohawk 000 10 — 1 5 1
Oakland (13)31 0x — 17 7 0
K. Nation, Holvey (1), Litle (1) and J. Nation; Bean and Pfaff. WP — Bean. LP — K. Nation.
Mohawk 000 00 — 0 2 1
Oakland 011 08 — 10 11 1
Litle and J. Nation; Bean and Pfaff. WP — Bean. LP — Litle. 2B — Vanderploeg (M), G. Witten (O).