Sports

COVID concerns cancel Osklaoosa-Washington game

Possible suspemsion of Indians season will affect area schools' postseason

OSKALOOSA -- Washington High School has cancelled its home softball doubleheader scheduled for tonight against Oskaloosa due to concerns over COVID-19 infection in a player.

“Oskaloosa is awaiting a COVID-19 test result from within their program, so we have canceled (Tuesday’s) games as a precautionary measure to prevent exposure between schools,” Washington head coach Ben Obermann said. “We wish all the best to Osky and hope they receive good news and can play in regionals.”

The Class 4A Region 7 has Oskaloosa, which is ranked 10th with a 12-9 record, as the top seed, playing the winner of 14th-ranked Burlington (16-6) and Mt. Pleasant Saturday. Fairfield, ranked sixth with a 20-1 record, plays the winner of Fort Madison (9-9) and Keokuk (3-15). The winners would play Tuesday July 21 for the right to go to state.

If Oskaloosa can’t play, that makes Fairfield the overwhelming favorite, having defeated Burlington twice already.

“I guess the Burlington-Mt. Pleasant winner would advance to the regional final if Osky doesn’t play,” Fairfield head coach Bob Bradfield said. “I’m not downplaying the virus and have no knowledge of the Oskaloosa situation but from what I have read about some of the pauses and/or close downs of high school baseball and softball teams this summer, I think there have been a few overreactions. I’m not saying that this is one of them since I don’t know the details.”

Washington still played its doubleheader against Solon Monday.

“For us, I’m glad we play(ed) Monday against Solon to get two more games of live at-bats,” Obermann said. “All things considered, it will work out ok for us and will give us two days of practice to prepare for Grinnell and to go over their scouting report. Nothing can replace live at-bats and experience, but in this case, it probably benefits us to get an extra day of practice to make sure we are ready for a tournament run.”

Washington (8-15) will host Grinell (10-10) Thursday in a 4A Region 6 opener. The winner will play at Clear Creek-Amana (13-8) Saturday.