The Van-Far softball team enters this upcoming Fall season with excitement after the postseason success from 2015.
Last Fall, the Lady Indians shocked their Class 1 district field by winning the program’s first ever district title and following up the big win with a sectional crown later in the week.
They eventually lost to a Chaffee program that placed third in state.
“I feel like we’re held to higher standards than Van-Far sports, period, have been held in the past,” said Van-Far head softball coach Kelly Orf. “But I think that makes our girls want to work harder and be more dedicated and feel they have something to prove.”
Returning this season for the Lady Indians is outfielders Carleigh Phillips and Reaghan Case along with infielders Alexis DeTienne (2B), Jordan Garner (SS), Jayda Borgmeyer (3B), and Jaylee Jennings (P).
Van-Far did lose seniors Renee Nelson, Hailey Hopke, and Madison Orr to graduation.
Offensively, Orf said she expects her team to be more disciplined hitters and looks for them to be able to play the “short ball.”
Defensively, the Lady Indians are returning several players in key positions.
“I think our defense will be a lot stronger than it’s been in the past,” she said. “I think we’ll cut the small mistakes out this year. Our communication is a lot better than it has been in the past.”
Orf expects Jennings, Phillips, and Colby Walton to see time on the mound for her squad.
“I expect (for them) not to walk batters,” she said. “They can put the ball in play because I think our defense will be strong enough to field it.”
Orf said she thinks Jennings is throwing “10 times” harder than she did last year.
Winning home opener
The Lady Indians won their home opener on Monday night with a 10-8 victory over Calvary Lutheran.
After trailing 6-1 through five innings, the offense came alive by scoring nine runs in the final two winnings for the comeback victory.
The two teams combined for 21 hits, including six extra-base hits in the game.
Van-Far’s big fifth inning came after two wild pitches, Borgmeyer’s RBI double, and Gina Clausen’s two-RBI single.
Borgmeyer added an RBI single in the sixth inning for another run. She later scored along with Borgmeyer on a two-run error.
Jennings picked up the win. Though she allowed eight runs, she did strike out six, walked two, and allowed nine hits.
Lead-off hitter Makayla McAfee led the team by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored.
Borgmeyer was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored; Jennings had two hits, three runs scored, and one RBI; Clausen had one hit and two RBIs; Mallory Williams added one hit and one RBI; Phillips added one hit and one run scored; and both DeTienne and Garner tallied one run scored and one hit.