Lady Vandals fall to L-W in 1st title game

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Long wait in heat causes slow start

By Andrew Harner

DECATUR – As the game between Warrensburg-Latham and the “No-Names” played out, the Lady Vandals sat and waited to see which team they would face in the 2 p.m. title game.

The problem was that the game being played didn’t end until just after 3 p.m., and by that point, the Lady Vandals had been sitting in an heat index of about 120 degrees for almost two hours before learning they would face top-seeded Warrensburg-Latham in the title game.

Vandalia struggled in the early-going, allowing Warrensburg-Latham to take a 12-4 lead after five innings, and the Lady Vandals couldn’t catch up in the 16-7 loss.

“(The heat) probably had a little effect (since we had) to wait around,” said coach Brian Buscher. “We didn’t get anyone feeding off each other in the first few innings.”

Vandalia did score a run in the second, after Paige Ehrat singled and advanced to third on a pair of miscues. She scored on a sacrifice by Emilie Britt.
Warrensburg-Latham would double its runs, with two more in the third, but Vandalia would remain within one run

after the bottom half.

Matti Tedrick walked to lead off the inning, and Kylie Sellers drove her in on an error. Alex Henna would then single, and she would score after three wild pitches; Sellers was tagged out at the plate on one of the errant pitches.

Vandalia’s lack of pitching would rear its head over the next two innings, however.

Missing its top four pitchers for various reasons, Vandalia turned to Shelby Foster to start, and Amber Bruno for relief.

“We had four pitchers gone,” Buscher said. “Amber had pitched one other game this summer, and Shelby Foster has pitched in the past.”

Six runs would score for Warrensburg-Latham in those two innings, and five of the runners reached by walking, leaving the Lady Vandals behind, 10-3.

Five Vandalia hitters would strike out over the same stretch, but Bruno did score by using crafty base running after singling.

“Their best pitcher struggled in the second game of the day, and when she came out for our first game, I was a little bit excited,” Buscher said. “Then she threw a heck of a game.”

Vandalia had just five hits and struck out eight times against Natalie Foster.

The Lady Vandals had a small rally in the sixth, scoring three times, with Britt and Bruno each getting an RBI, and Shelby Foster scoring on a wild pitch.

Vandalia’s chance at parlaying that into momentum was squashed in the top of the seventh, however, as Warrensburg-Latham plated six of its first seven batters to put the game away and force a double-elimination game.