Van-Far’s softball team got an early look at just how good their squad might be this season when they competed in the stacked Hallsville Tournament filled with several quality programs.
The Lady Indians scored the only run Southern Boone allowed in the tournament as they nearly knocked off the Lady Eagles in game one, 2-1.
They finished the day by outscoring their next two opponents 25-3 to leave Hallsville with a Consolation Championship.
“Even though the weekend started off slow and rocky, we were able to rally back and get our bats going,” said Van-Far head coach Kelly Borchert.
In the Consolation title game against Sturgeon, Van-Far’s Jayle Jennings tossed a no-hitter to lift the Lady Indians to a 14-0 victory.
Jennings tossed six innings and struck out six.
Sturgeon’s defense made 10 errors in the loss as the Lady Indians made them pay with an eight-run sixth inning.
After being held scoreless through the first two innings, Van-Far scored three runs in the top of the third inning after Aubrey Bunge’s double was followed by RBI singles from Alyse Jensen and Devyn Keller.
In their next at-bat, Bunge added an RBI single as part of another three-run inning.
She went 3-for-4 in the win with two runs scored and one RBI.
Jennings and Keller each had two RBIs and one run scored; Haley Baskett and Jensen each had two runs scored and one RBI; Kaylen Culwell scored two runs; while both Alivia Graddy and Jordan Garner scored one run.
“The bottom of our line up got our bats going and kept us going throughout the whole game,” Borchert noted.
Before winning the game for the plaque, the Lady Indians scored 11 runs through three innings for an 11-3 victory over Westran. The Lady Indians scored three runs in the first inning as they were paced by Jennings’ two-run home run that scored Keller.
After Westran responded with one run in their first at-bat, Van-Far plated five runs in the second inning.
Colby Wright-Walton had a two-RBI double. She then scored on Keller’s single. Garner added an RBI in the inning.
Westran scored two runs in their next trip to the plate before Van-Far pulled away with three more runs in the top of the third inning.
Jennings went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored; Wright-Walton had two RBIs and two runs scored; Rebecca Moore and Keller each scored two runs; Garner had one RBI and one run scored; while Baskett and Graddy each scored one run.
Wright-Walton earned the win on the mound after tossing two innings and allowing one earned run with three strikeouts and just four hits. Keller tossed one inning of shutout ball and allowed just one hit.
In their season opener, five defensive errors and a offense with just three hits led Van-Far to a tough 2-1 loss to Southern Boone, who eventually won the tournament title.
“Being the first game of the season, our nerves got the best of us,” Borchert said.
Jennings started the scoring in the top of the first inning with an RBI double that scored Makayla McAfee.
Southern Boone responded with one run in the second and then walked it off with a run in the bottom of the fifth.
Borchert said both runs were unearned in the loss.
Offensively, Jennings had one RBI and McAfree had one run scored. Along with Garner, each player had one base hit.
Jennings tossed 4 1/3 innings and allowed no earned runs on two hits with two strikeouts.
Along with the Consolation title, Van-Far’s players celebrated the 100th career hits by both Jennings and Garner.