Seasons came to an end for softball players at both Van-Far and Community R-VI this past week as Silex went on to win the Class 1, District 4 championship.
The first round of games were played at Community R-VI before the final games were moved to Mexico High School due to the weather. Silex won the title after knocking off top-seeded Clopton 3-0 in the district finals.
For Van-Far, a district semifinals loss to the Lady Owls meant it was the final game for seniors Breanna Strange and Annaliese Hubert.
Both players were Lady Indians for four years and head coach Wes Rowden also coached both players for Junior High basketball.
“So I have been around them for six years now,” Rowden said. “I am going to miss having them around next year, that is for sure.”
Rowden said he appreciated Strange for stepping in to fill a needed role as pitcher. She also batted near .450. Hubert was the team’s No. 3 in the lineup and helped to solidify Van-Far’s infield in the later half of the year.
The Lady Trojans’ loss to Van-Far in the first round meant it was the final game for senior Sam Jackson.
“Sam Jackson was our senior; she really stepped up for us this year playing in the outfield,” said Community R-VI head coach Sarah Simmons. “This was a new position for her. She played centerfield for us. Sam improved greatly in the outfield this year as she gained more experience. Sam made some big catches in games for outs. She will be missed next season because she is always trying to improve and willing to do what is best for the team.”
In the first round of districts, rivals Van-Far and Community R-VI went head-to-head in a battle between two squads wanting a postseason victory.
The Lady Trojans took an early 1-0 lead after taking advantage of a hit batter and a throwing error to score the first run.
Van-Far responded with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Strange hit a two-RBI double that scored both Madison Orr and Hubert.
Community R-VI tied the game back up in the top of the sixth inning when Danie Jackson hit a game-tying RBI double.
The Lady Indians responded in the bottom half of the inning with a two-out rally.
Alexis DeTienne hit a two-out single and later scored on a throwing error. Orr then hit a double to right centerfield, scoring Hailey Hopke. Orr was thrown out at third base trying to stretch the hit into a triple.
In their final at-bat, the Lady Trojans had two runners on in the seventh inning with a walk and reaching base on an error but were unable to score.
“We fought very hard to come back in the top of the seventh but just came up short,” Simmons said. “The girls played a very good game, both physically and mentally and I believe it was our best showing of the season, which is what you want to see at districts as a coach.”
Strange picked up the win on the mound for Van-Far after striking out seven. She kept her composure in the final two innings to get out of two R-VI threats.
“It was a really good game on both ends and one of the more exciting games we have played in all year,” Rowden said. “Both teams made some miscues and both teams cashed in on them. I am proud of my girls in getting the win and not getting to frustrated when we left runners on base. Community (R-VI) played well and their pitcher threw the ball pretty well.”
For the Lady Trojans, Samm Jett had four strikeouts on the mound. She also had two hits.
Mikyla Wagner had an RBI, Jackson had two hits and an RBI, Jackson drew a walk, and Alissa Curtis scored one run off an HBP.
For Van-Far, Orr was 3-for-4 with a run scored and one RBI. Strange had one hit and two RBIs, DeTienne had one hit and one run scored, and Autumn Sutton had one hit.
Van-Far falls to Silex
After winning their first round game, the Lady Indians lost 10-0 to Silex as the Lady Owls scored 10 runs on 13 hits.
Silex scored six runs in the third inning with three earned runs. They added four in the fifth.
Van-Far’s offense had just two hits. Hopke had one in the third inning and Jayda Borgmeyer added a triple in the fifth inning.
“They just hit the ball pretty well and their pitcher had us off balance the entire game by changing speeds and moving the ball round,” Rowden said.