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Lady Vandals on losing side of pitcher's duel

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Vandalia shut out by Altamont, but picks up first South Central Conference win with balanced effort against Pana

By Andrew Harner

VANDALIA – Senior Megan Godoyo extended her hitting streak to eight games, but that would be the only hit for the Lady Vandals on Tuesday, as they finished on the losing side of a pitcher’s duel.

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Deidre Ledbetter struck out 11, using a stifling rise ball to lead Altamont past Vandalia, 4-0.

“We had a lot of bad at–bats where we watched strikes go by and chased the rise ball,” said coach Brian Buscher said. “It was exactly the opposite of what you want to happen, but you know there are going to be days like that and you just hope they aren’t that often.”

It marked the second time this season that Vandalia has been shut out, and was the second time in three games with two or fewer hits.

Ledbetter was perfect through the first 11 batters, and Godoyo’s fourth-inning single to center was one of just two balls that Vandalia hit to the outfield, as Ledbetter induced eight slow grounders with her rise ball.

“It’s effective because it comes in at a nice level and looks like it’s going to be a strike,” Buscher said. “Then it comes up just enough to be above the hands, and if you’re dropping your hands down when the ball is going up, you won’t hit it with any authority.

“You have to see it coming, and that’s hard for a lot of high school girls to do, but there are ways to combat it.”

For Vandalia (4-6), Godoyo pitched well, striking out eight and allowing four runs on five hits and three walks.

The defense committed four errors, though only one led to a run.

Altamont scored on a pair of wild pitches in the first inning, and added two more in the third on two singles, a walk and a fielder’s choice.

The Lady Indians threatened again in the fourth, getting runners on second and third bases with no outs, but a pair of defensive plays squashed the rally.

The third hitter of the inning hit a sharp grounder to third base, which sophomore Karlie Bright fielded right next to the runner, who had begun advancing home. Bright made the tag, and then tagged out a runner trying to steal third during the next at-bat.

Godoyo finished off the inning with a strikeout.

“Not only did we not allow more runs, it gave us confidence that we can get out of a situation,” Buscher said.

Vandalia has nine games scheduled in nine days from Wednesday to next Friday, and the stretch features no easy matchups.

•Wednesday, April 16 – vs. Centralia
•Thursday, April 17 – vs. Shelbyville
•Friday, April 18 – at Staunton*
•Saturday, April 19 – vs. St. Elmo/Brownstown, 11 a.m.**
•Saturday, April 19 – vs. Nokomis or Pana, 1 p.m.**
•Tuesday, April 22 – vs. Mulberry Grove
•Wednesday, April 23 – vs. Greenville*
•Thursday, April 24 – vs. Breese Central
•Friday, April 25 – at Hillsboro*

*South Central Conference game
**at Nokomis Tournament

“We’re easing into the conference schedule, not to say that any conference game is easy,” Buscher said. “But our nonconference schedule is tough, so it’s not a surprise when we come up on those tough games.”

Box score
Tuesday, April 15
Altamont 4
Vandalia 0
A: 2-0-2-0-0-0-0—4-5-0
V: 0-0-0-0-0-0-0—0-1-4
WP: Ledbetter; 7 IP, 11 K
LP: Godoyo (4-5); 7 IP, 8 K
Lady Vandals: Godoyo, 1-for-3.
Record: 4-6

***

Vandalia won its first South Central Conference game of the season last Friday, beating Pana on the strength of a season-high 14 strikeouts from senior Megan Godoyo and three RBI from senior Taylor Well in a 6-5 win.

The Lady Vandals (4-5, 1-0 SCC) scored three runs in each of the first two innings, with Well hitting a two-run single and sophomore Gracie Morrison driving in another run in the first, and freshman Lindsay Dagen, Godoyo and Well each driving home a run with a hit in the second.

Pana (1-7, 0-2 SCC) scored three runs in the top of the first, but didn’t score again until the third, and then added a run in the top of the seventh to make it a one-run game.

After a leadoff single and a walk, Godoyo struck out the final three batters, with the run scoring on a wild pitch.

“We got runs early,” said coach Brian Buscher. “After the second inning, the bats went dead a little bit, but we had enough runs to hold on.

“The 14 strikeouts (from Godoyo) helped, but we can’t relax.”

Friday, April 11
Vandalia 6
Pana 5
P: 3-0-1-0-0-0-1—5-4-3
V: 3-3-0-0-0-0-X—6-9-5
WP: Godoyo (4-4); 7 IP, 14 K
Lady Vandals: Well, 2-for-4, 3 RBI, run; Godoyo, 2-for-4, 3B, 2B, RBI, 2 runs; Dagen, 2-for-3, RBI, 2 runs; Morrison, 1-for-3, RBI, SB; Madison Click, 1-for-2; Kelsey Swain, 1-for-3; Kylie Sellers, run, SB.
Record: 4-5 (1-0 SCC)

***

Sophomore Karlie Bright scored in her sixth straight game last Wednesday, but that would be Vandalia’s only run on the road against a tough Breese Central squad.

The Lady Cougars took advantage of four Vandalia errors to score 10 unearned runs in an 11-1 win.

Bright doubled to lead off the game, and scored on an RBI single by senior Megan Godoyo, but those would be Vandalia’s only two hits in the game.

Wednesday, April 9
Breese Central 11
Vandalia 1
V: 1-0-0-0-0—1-2-4
B: 0-6-5-0-X—11-8-1
LP: Godoyo (3-4); 4 IP, 7 K
Lady Vandals: Bright, 1-for-2, 2B, run, BB; Godoyo, 1-for-3, RBI; Lindsay Dagen, BB; Ashley Swain, BB; Kelsey Swain, BB.
Record: 3-5