Osage's softball team started off the year against three teams ranked teams inside the top-15 in the current softball rankings. It went 0-3.
That start of the year is in the rear view mirror and the Green Devils are clicking on all cylinders hitting the midway part of June.
Over the last week, Osage has played in eight games and has triumphed in seven of them, the latest a 10-4 win over Rockford at home on Wednesday night.
The lone loss was to Independence on the final day of the North Fayette Valley tournament. During the winning stretch, the Green Devils have scored 10 or more runs in thee games and held their opponents to under five runs twice.
Using a five-run second was what drove Osage to the win against the Warriors. It added four runs over the fourth and fifth frames and an additional run in the sixth.
Senior Ainsley Dodd belted a three-run home run for her lone hit of the game for the Green Devils. Summer Collins finished with three hits and Sydney Muller recorded two hits and two RBIs.
Leah Grimm also notched a pair of hits, while sophomore starter Mari Fox allowed five hits and struck out five Rockford batters to snare the victory in the circle.
The Warriors were paced offensively by Gabby Keith, who deposited a pitch over the fence for a three-run shot of her own. Camden Kuhlmeier had the other RBI.
Marshalltown 6-0, Mason City 1-11: After the Bobcats took the opener, the Mohawks' bats erupted to take the nightcap and salvage a CIML-Iowa split on Wednesday.
Mason City scored three runs in the third inning to break a scoreless tie in Game 2, then added three more in the fourth, one in the fifth and four in the sixth to end it via the run-rule.
Shaye Theobald went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs, while Gwen Fiser plated four runs and Lainna Duncan drove in two. Fiser struck out two Marshalltown batters to pick up the win in the circle.
In Game 1, Duncan ripped an RBI single that scored Fiser as the lone run for the Mohawks.
Clear Lake 14, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows 8: Fifteen hits, six of them doubles, ignited the Lions as they snapped their three-game skid over the winless Cowgirls.
They scored in every inning, the big one was a four-run second after CGD took a 3-1 lead. Clear Lake plated two runs in the third, fifth and sixth frames and three in the fourth.
Sophomore Annika Nelson had a perfect day in the batting lineup, going 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three runs scored. Reese Brownlee drove in four runs on two hits. Chelsey Holck and three hits with a pair of doubles.
Emeny Brattrud drove in two and Alivia Hauge struck out four and allowed nine hits to win in the circle.
Hampton-Dumont-CAL 6, Algona 5: In a battle of Bulldogs, it was Hampton-Dumont that snapped a three-game losing streak of their own after holding off Algona at home.
It took a three-run fourth for Hampton-Dumont to take a 4-3 lead then it added two insurance runs in the sixth that proved to be the difference after Algona plated two in the top of the seventh.
No Hampton-Dumont stats were published online.
St. Ansgar 4, Northwood-Kensett 0: The Saints have won five straight, three by shutout, after another lockdown pitching performance against the Vikings.
No stats were published online by St. Ansgar. Northwood-Kensett freshman Lindsey Moore had two of its three hits.
North Butler 6, West Fork 5: The Warhawks gave the Class 1A No. 14 Bearcats a scare, but the latter used a four-run sixth to avoid an upset and remain unbeaten the Top of Iowa East.
West Fork scored runs in the third and fourth to take a 3-1 lead and attempted a comeback with two in the seventh, but it wasn't enough. No Warhawks stats were published online.
Bishop Garrigan 13, Forest City 6: The Golden Bears got some early cushion on the Indians with a seven-run second inning that paved the way to a home victory.
Forest City scored four runs in the top half of the second to take an early lead then added two in the fourth to cut its deficit to 8-6 until Bishop Garrigan got those two runs back in the bottom half and added three in the fifth.
No stats for the Indians were published online.
Lake Mills 14, North Iowa 11: Another high-powered offensive showing by the Bulldogs and it came at the right time to snap their five-game skid against the Bison.
Five runs in the first inning started Lake Mills off on the right foot. When North Iowa trimmed the lead to three runs un the fifth, the Bulldogs plated another five runs to put the game out of reach.
Madison Edwards had three hits and drove in five runs for Lake Mills while Scout Kohagen went 3-for-4 at the plate and pitched a complete game in the circle, striking out nine. Only four of the 11 runs were earned.
Taylor Vanek finished with two RBIs for the Bulldogs.
Belmond-Klemme 14, West Hancock 2: The Broncos used a five-run fourth to end the game early via the run-rule over the Eagles.
West Hancock scored its lone two runs in the fourth. No stats of its team were published online.
Mason City 14-8, Marshalltown 4-3: The Mohawks went into Marshalltown and claimed a CIML-Iowa sweep over the Bobcats on Wednesday night.
It was a 10-run second inning that paved the path for a run-rule victory in the opener and a five-run top of the first got Mason City on the right foot in the nightcap.
Alex Gold recorded five hits and five RBIs in the doubleheader, while Cooper Weimann drove in two runs in the both Game 1 and Game 2. Kaden Tyler recorded two RBIs in the nightcap.
Kellar Malek and Carter Thomas earned wins on the mound in first and second games, respectively.
Riceville 9-6, Colo-Nesco 7-7: The Wildcats scored three runs in the seventh to erase a one-run lead and take the opener of an Iowa Star-North twinbill before the Royals earned a walk-off victory in extra innings to in the nightcap to salvage a split.
Mitchell Marr ended the two games with five hits and five runs batted in. He launched a home run in Game 1. Riceville scored four runs in the third to break a 1-1 tie, but Colo-Nesco took the lead in the sixth with a run.
In Game 2, it was the Wildcats that tied the game at six with a three-spot in the seventh, but they couldn't add a run in the extra frame to prevent a game-winning hit by Colo-Nesco.
Clear Lake 14, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows 0: Ignited by 15 hits and 11 runs over the course of two innings, the Lions pushed their win streak to three games with a run-rule victory over the Cowboys.
It was a seven-run third and a four-run fourth that ended the game early. After scoring more than six runs once in the first five games, Clear Lake has eclipsed that mark in its last three contests.
Nine of the 10 hitters that received at least one at bat notched at least one RBI for the Lions. They were paced by four from Austin Warnke on three hits and two from a trifecta of hitters.
Four players recorded two hits that proved to be enough offense for Jett Neuberger, who struck out 14 and allowed two hits on 74 pitches to earn the win on the mound.
Algona 7, Hampton-Dumont-CAL 6: A go-ahead run in the sixth and a key insurance run in the seventh proved to be the difference in the battle of Bulldogs as Algona left victorious.
Even though Hampton-Dumont rallied from a 5-0 deficit after the top of the first with a run in the bottom half then two runs in the third and fourth innings, it couldn't muster offense until it was too late.
It plated a run in the bottom of the seventh, but that was all it could do. Mario De La Cruz notched three hits while Payton McNealy drove in three runs on two hits.
Nashua-Plainfield 6, Charles City 2: All six of the Huskies runs came in the fourth and that proved to be enough to defeat the Comets at home.
Charles City scored both if its runs in the top half of the fifth frame. Junior outfielder Colton Crooks had half of the Comets hits and drove in a run. JJ Ritter also plated a run.
Newman Catholic 11, Central Springs 2: The Class 1A top-ranked Knights scored 11 unanswered runs to beat the Panthers on the road that sets up a top-10 showdown tonight with No. 9 St. Ansgar.
Thomas Manternach went 3-for-5 at the plate with a pair of doubles. Four hitters for Newman Catholic registered two hits with Tim Castle and Max Burt driving in two runs each.
Cole Nelson tossed six innings with 10 strikeouts to leave with a win. The senior threw 76 pitches.
West Fork 19, North Butler 3: The Warhawks had more walks (18) than hits (10) in their blowout victory over the Bearcats on the road to up their winning streak to four games.
Riley Peterson was walked five times and scored three runs. Four others reached base via a walk at least two times. West Fork was leading 12-3 after five innings then plated seven runs in the sixth to end it via the run-rule.
Kayden Ames had three hits, two of them doubles, to go with two RBIs for the Warhawks. Noah Manske and Nolan Shreckengost each finished with two hits.
Osage 12, Rockford 7: A six-run fourth and a five-run sixth powered the Green Devils to their third win in four games over the Warriors.
The top-three hitters in Osage's lineup – Drew Tusler, Max Gast and Tyler Oberfoell – had six of its 11 hits and drove in seven of its 10 runs. Nolan Heard drove in the other three runs and Keaton Muller had two hits.
Gast pitched five innings, allowing four hits and to go with 10 strikeouts for the Green Devils.
For Rockford, Kolton Lyman hit a grand slam, while three other hitters recorded two hits. Brooks Hoffman, one of those players with a pair of hits, drove in two.
St. Ansgar 10, Northwood-Kensett 0: Three runs in the third, fourth and fifth innings allowed the Class 1A No. 9 Saints to leave with their 10th win of the season.
No offensive stats outside of runs scored were published online. Taylor Hillman threw five innings to earn the win on the mound for St. Ansgar.
Forest City 14, Bishop Garrigan 2: Five runs in the third and sixth innings were on the ends of four in the fourth and fifth combined as the Indians blew out the Golden Bears.
Kellen Moore finished with four hits, three runs scored and two RBIs, while Truman Knudston recorded two hits and drove in three runs. Reese Moore and Jaxon Archer each finished with a hit and two RBIs.
On the mound, Reese Moore allowed two hits and one earned run in six innings with seven strikeouts.
North Iowa 2, Lake Mills 1: The Bulldogs were held to four hits in a one-run loss at home to the Bison. It snaps the former's two game winning streak.
Pinch hitter Eli Menke drove in the lone run for the Bulldogs on a single that scored Dalton Thorson.
Zach Martin is a sports reporter for the Globe Gazette. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @zach_martin95.