In an Eastern Missouri Conference contest rescheduled from Sept. 4 because of weather, the Van-Far varsity girls softball team whirled into Wellsville-Middletown on Oct. 5 with all the power of a hurricane.
What that turned into for the Lady Indians was three runs in the first inning, seven in the second, one in the third and five in the fourth for what turned out to be a 16-0 mercy over the Lady Tigers in four innings. One big factor in this game was that Van-Far had just nine hits, but Wellsville-Middletown made four errors and charted just one hit.
"With Districts this week we need to keep playing tight defense and keep our bats hot," said coach Kelly Borchert. "With moving up to 2a this year the girls and I know that we will have to bring our best to the field, but we have been playing well and have put in the work to do so."
At the heart of this attack for the Lady Indians was Haley Baskett at 2-for-3 with two RBI, Makayla McAfee was just as much of a hero by going 2-for-2 with four runs and one RBI and Devyn Keller was good for two hits, three runs, one RBI and a walk in three at-bats. Mallory Williams also helped get things going at 1-for-4 with one run and one RBI, Jayle Jennings was incredibly key at 1-for-3 with five RBI, two runs and a walk and Jordan Garner added a single, two walks, one RBI and a run.
One day prior on Oct. 4 in a league home game that was called after five innings Van-Far scored twice in the first inning and once in the second to beat Clopton 3-1. The Lady Indians were outhit 6-4 in this game.
On Oct. 2 at Wright City Williams had two hits and one RBI in three trips to the plate as Van-Far came out on top 11-7. Having scored five runs in the first and fifth and one in the second on 10 hits, igniting those rallies were players like McAfee at 2-for-4 with two RBI and one run, Garner went 1-for-1 with three walks and two runs and Alivia Graddy was 1-for-3 with two runs and one RBI.
The Lady Indians journey to Marion County might have been the most eventful of them all as the squad scored five runs in the first, six in the third and 10 in the fourth on 26 hits to win 21-0 in four innings on Oct. 1. Among the many who enjoyed in this bounty was Jennings with five hits, four RBI and three runs in five at-bats, Keller and McAfee both gave a 4-for-5 performances with three RBI and two runs and Williams went 3-for-4 with three RBI, three RBI, two runs and a walk.
"This past week was a good week for us. We were up 6-1 against Clopton at the Elsbery round robin before the rain set in," Borchert said. "Offensively our bats were hot and defensively our pitching is looking better than it has all year. Devyn Jeller pitched a shutout against Marion Co, Colby Walton pitched a shutout against Welsville and Jayle Jennings got the wins against Clopton and Wright City."
Van-Far, 13-4 overall, has a bye for round one of Class 2, District 5, and starts the postseason on Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. against Elsberry, 11-3 overall, at Bowling Green. The other district semifinal game will feature Bowling Green, 19-4 overall, against the winner of Louisiana, 4-14 overall, and Mark Twain, 1-16 overall, in round one. The title game then takes place on Oct. 12 at 4:30 p.m.