Van-Far Lady Indians after winning consolations. Front row, from left: Ciara Craven, Haven Atkinson, Payton Willis, Mackenzie Baumbach, and Melani Hamlett. Back row: Kambrie Hartsell, Madison Wieberg, Breanna Strange, Brooke Johnson, Madison Orr, Sarah Sutton, and statistician Bryan Mink.
The Van-Far Lady Indians softball team won consolations at the EMO Conference Tournament on Saturday, September 29 in Montgomery City.
The Lady Indians fell in their first game against Bowling Green but rallied for two big victories against Community R-VI and Clopton.
In the first round, the Lady Bobcats held Van-Far scoreless through five innings for a 10-0 victory.
Payton Willis allowed eight hits on the mound with three strikeouts, five walks, and four earned runs. Brooke Johnson had the Lady Indians’ lone hit. Van-Far committed three errors.
“In the first game, Bowling Green just shut us down offensively,” said Van-Far head coach Wes Rowden. “We were not very aggressive with the bats and they were.”
The Lady Indians came back with an 8-2 victory against Community R-VI in the consolation semifinals.
Van-Far had one run in the first after Haven Atkinson scored on an infield out by Melani Hamlett and Van-Far held a 3-0 lead over the Lady Trojans by the end of the second.
Community R-VI added one run in the top of the third but Van-Far came back with two runs after the Lady Indians’ Breanna Strange and Madison Weiberg scored on two wild pitches.
Van-Far had one run in the fourth and two runs in the fifth to end with game with 10 hits and one error.
“In the Community R-VI game, we started hitting better,” Rowden said. “We got more aggressive and we scored some runs because it that.”
The Lady Indians picked up their second victory in a consolation game against Clopton with a 4-3 victory.
Van-Far held a 1-0 lead through the first two innings until Clopton tied the game in the third.
The Lady Indians picked up one run in the fourth but Clopton came back to tie the game at 2-2 in the sixth after a home run.
Van-Far led 4-2 at the top of the seventh with Clopton’s final at-bat coming up short for a narrow loss. Payton Willis tossed all seven innings with three hits, seven strikeouts, and two walks.
“In the Clopton game, which really was a good, exciting game, both teams made some really good plays defensively,” Rowden said. “Hopefully, that win will give us some confidence going into the district (tournament).”
The Lady Indians enter the district tournament on Wednesday, October 3 as the No. 6 seed.
Defeated Marion County
The Van-Far varsity softball squad took Marion County for a 10-1 victory after a 17-hit assault Monday, September 24.
At Marion County, Van-Far held off the Lady Mustangs from scoring until the sixth, holding a 9-1 lead.
“We hit the ball pretty well but we did leave nine runners on,” Rowden said. “I would like to see that number lower for sure.”
The Lady Indians scored in the first after a single from Atkinson, who then stole second, and scored on a two-out single by Johnson.
In the third, Mackenzie Baumbach started the inning with a home run. Johnson then had a double and scored on a hit to shortstop by Weiberg.
Van-Far picked up two more runs in the fifth. After back-to back-singles by Johnson and Weiberg, both runners scored on Willis’ triple.
In the sixth, Atkinson walked to first and then stole second. On an error, Atkinson took third and scored on Hamlett’s single. Hamlett took second after a dropped ball at first base and reached third on a single by Johnson. Ciara Craven drove both runners home with a single.
The Lady Indians scored one more run in the seventh on a single by Hamlett.
Willis tossed all seven innings allowing three hits. She had one unearned run, six strikeouts, and six walks.
“(Willis’) control was not as sharp as it has been most of the year,” Rowden said. “But the walks didn’t hurt us, as we played pretty well defensively.”
Falls to Elsberry, Silex
Van-Far fell to Elsberry 6-0 on Thursday, September 25.
Willis tossed the game with eight hits, two strikeouts, three walks, and four earned runs.
Strange had two hits while Johnson and Baumbach each had one hit.
Silex attacked early and finished late against Van-Far in a game following the Lady Indians’ loss to Elsberry. Van-Far lost 8-1.
Silex scored three runs in the first and added another run in the second to lead Van-Far 4-0 before the Lady Indians scored their sole run in the fourth.
In Silex’s last at-bat, The Lady Owls scored four runs.
Sarah Sutton was on the mound against Silex. Sutton allowed 12 hits, one strikeout, and eight earned runs through the seven inning game. Van-Far scored its lone run in the fourth after Baumbach had a triple and scored on a single by Hamlett.