The Lady Vandals may have started the season at 0-2, but had there not been an hour time limit at Saturday’s Noble Round-Robin, their record may have been better.
Losing to Hutsonville/Palestine, 4-3, in five innings, and Red Hill, 11-6, in three innings, Vandalia coach Brian Buscher didn’t have too many complaints about the games.
“We played pretty well the first game,” Buscher said. “We had a couple of errors, but it wasn’t a bad game. If there wasn’t a time limit, we probably could have scored more runs.”
The game was tied at three going to the bottom of the fifth, but a bases-loaded walk ended the game with no outs.
Seniors Morgan Whightsil and Paige Ehrat each had two hits in the game. Ehrat scored twice, and Whightsil and Ashley Swain each had an RBI.
In the second game, Red Hill jumped out quickly on offense, scoring 11 runs in the top of the first inning.
But that didn’t seem to deter Vandalia, which scored three runs in each the first and second innings.
“It was a weird game, because we played well after we forgot about the top of the first,” Buscher said. “We don’t want to do that (allow 11 runs), but it’s nice to see that we will overcome it.”
Included in that game was a long three-run home run by junior Taylor Well, and a three-run triple by Ehrat.
“I don’t know if you can hit a ball any harder into the wind,” Buscher said of Well’s homer. “It hit a dirt pile that was pretty fall away.”
The six RBI between Well and Ehrat are the start of what Buscher hopes becomes a lot of middle-of-the-order RBI for the season.
Saturday, March 16
LP: Abby Dugan (0-1); 4 IP, 4 K, 4 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 3 BB
Offense: Whightsil, 2-for-3, RBI; Ehrat, 2-for-3, 2 runs; A. Swain, 1-for-2, RBI; Kadi Metzger, 1-for-3, 2B, run; Amber Bruno, 1-for-2, BB, SB; Caitlin Alverson, BB.
Saturday, March 16
Red Hill 11
LP: Brandy Protz (0-1); 1 IP, 2K, 11 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 4 BB
Offense: Well, 1-for-1, HR, 3 RBI, BB, 2 runs; Ehrat, 1-for-2, 3B, 3 RBI; Brittany Anspach, 1-for-1; Emilie Britt, BB, run; Whightsil, BB, run; Metzger, BB, run; Bruno, SB, run.
Vandalia was rained out of games at Lincolnwood on Monday and against Effingham on Tuesday. No makeup dates have been announced.
That makes the games at Noble even more important, since the Lady Vandals haven’t had a lot of outside practice time, either.
“It was a big thing to get those games in,” Buscher said. “We were lucky last year (with nice weather), so since two games have already been canceled, it’s really good to have some games under our belts.”
If the weather cooperates, Vandalia will have its home opener on Friday against Plymouth, a team from Wisconsin.
Plymouth is heading south on a spring trip, and wanted to play on the way to their destination, so the Lady Vandals got them on the schedule.
“They are on a spring trip and were looking to pick up a game on the way down,” Buscher said. “I have no problem with playing them, and I would expect them to be pretty good.”
Also scheduled are home games against South Central next Monday and Newton next Tuesday.