Prep softball: Rain washes away opening day of Ottumwa Classic

·3 min read

Jul. 1—OTTUMWA — It never really poured buckets of rain around the city of Ottumwa on Friday.

If only the gray clouds and light rain would have moved out of the area at some point on Friday. Perhaps the Bulldogs, Roland-Story, Ankeny, Albia and West Burlington-Notre Dame could have stepped on the field for an abbreviated opening day of games at the 48th edition of the Ottumwa Classic.

Instead, all six scheduled games on day one of the state's longest running high school softball regular-season tournament ended up being called off as the consistent rainfall kept Ottumwa's home diamond saturated throughout the day. The first two games of the day, featuring seventh-ranked (5A) Southeast Polk, were the first to go as showers moved into the area less than three hours before the first pitch between the Rams and No. 10 (3A) Albia was supposed to be thrown to open Friday's slate.

Albia and No. 14 (3A) Roland-Story then became the first of four games scheduled to be played on Friday, the first of two games for the Norsemen in what's become an annual homecoming for head coach and former OHS Hall-of-Fame softball standout Amber Morrow. First pitch was set for 1:30 p.m.

Then, 3:30 p.m.

Finally, with rain continuing to fall in the early afternoon, the remaining four games scheduled for Friday were called off. Eighth-ranked (3A) West Burlington-Notre Dame, after games rained out with No. 9 (5A) Ankeny and No. 7 Southeast Polk, will be on Saturday to play Solon in the first of five scheduled games on day two of the Ottumwa Classic at 10 a.m.

"We always draw good teams down here and, ultimately, it's just good for everybody to come out and watch," Ottumwa head softball coach Mandi Moore said. "If you have younger kids that are interested in softball, it's a great tournament to come out and watch everybody from top to bottom. It's just good for softball fans and exciting for Ottumwa to get a lot of foot traffic in town this weekend."

West Burlington-Notre Dame will play in the first two games on Saturday, following up their battle with Solon by testing themselves against second-ranked (3A) Davenport Assumption in a potential state tournament preview. Solon then returns for the third game of the day, facing 13th-ranked (4A) Fairfield at approximately 1:30 p.m.

The Trojans will stick around for the fifth and final game of the day, facing Ottumwa at approximately 5 p.m. The Bulldogs will face Davenport Assumption in the fourth of the five games slated to be played tomorrow, weather permitting, at Huston Field.

"It's exciting to high-energy softball games like these," Moore said. "It'll be good for us to experience that before we begin postseason play next week."

— Scott Jackson can be reached at Follow him on Twitter@CourierScott.