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Lady Vandals win in walk-off fashion

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By Jonathan Stark

The Vandalia High School softball team picked up its second win of the season and second in a row on Tuesday night, in a 2-1 walk-off victory over St. Elmo in the eighth inning.

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Trailing 1-0 going into the bottom of the seventh, Audra Donaldson drew a walk to lead off the frame. Whitney Newsome followed with another base on balls.

Donaldson moved down to third on a ground ball to the second baseman, who tagged out Newsome and threw to first to get the hitter Maggie Childers. Alex Henna followed with the third walk of  the inning, and Morgan Whightsil singled to the left side to drive in Donaldson and tie the game, 1-1.

Childers and the Vandal defense was able to get through the top of the eighth without allowing a run, despite a lead-off double.

In the bottom of the eighth, senior Katie Vieregge doubled to right-center to lead off the inning.

"That was big for Kaite," Vandalia coach Brian Buscher said. "That's a situation where the Katie Vieregge of last year might struggle, but Katie has put in a lot of work."

Amber Bruno went down on strikes, but the ball got away from the catcher, allowing Vieregge to move up to third.

Bruno ran down to first on the dropped third strike, and St. Elmo's throw down to first sailed into right field, allowing Vieregge to score the winning run.

 Vieregge went 2-for-3 on the day, with a double, run scored, walk and stolen base.

Whightsil went 1-for-3 with a run batted in.

Childers earned the win, pitching 6 1/3 innings of relief. She came on in the top of the second with two outs and the bases loaded. She struck out the No. 3 hitter, Morgan Myers, to get out of the jam.

"I knew it was a good situation for Maggie to come into," Buscher said, "and she did a great job."

She gave up no runs on five hits. Donaldosn started the game, giving up one run on one hit.

St. Elmo's lone run came in the top of the second on a passed ball.  

The Lady Vandals are in action again on Friday at Pana. The first pitch is at 4:30 p.m.

Vandalia 7

Carlinville 2

The Lady Vandals earned their first victory of the season in a 7-2 victory over Carlinville on Friday.

Vieregge went 3-for-4, scored twice and stole four bases in the win.

Vandalia fell behind 1-0 in the first inning, but didn’t trail for long, taking a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the frame.

Vieregge and Bruno both singled to start Vandalia’s first at-bat. Brown grounded out to score Vieregge, who had stolen third. Donaldson singled to drive in Bruno. Newsome and Henna would both reach and come around to score later in the inning.

Vieregge and Bruno started the second inning the exact same way, with back-to-back singles. Bruno’s single actually scored Vieregge who had moved up to second on a steal. Brown drove in Bruno on a ground ball to the pitcher.

Vandalia seventh run came in the third. Newsome doubled to start the inning and scored later in the inning on an error by the first baseman.

Carlinville was able to plate another run in the fourth after a leadoff triple, but its offense had just three base runners the rest of the night.

Bruno went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Brown went 0-for-3 with two runs driven in. Vandalia had eight hits and five stolen bases

T-Town 6

Vandalia 2

Vandalia dropped its fourth straight game to start the year. The Lady Vandals lost to T-Town, 6-2, last Thursday.

The Wooden Shoes went up 4-0 in the first inning and were in control all afternoon. Vandalia was held scoreless until the fifth inning. Trailing 6-0, Amy Walton reached on a fielder’s choice and was followed by Vieregge, who singled to reach base. A groundout by Bruno drove in Walton and Vieregge scored later in the frame.

Newsome went 2-for-3 on the day.