For the fifth straight game, the Lady Vandals have failed to score more than two runs, as they lost to Hillsboro 12-1 on Tuesday. Their losing streak hit four games, and they dropped to 3-14 on the season.
While Vandalia was able to pick up a 2-0 victory against EA-Wood River last week, the Lady Vandals and Coach Brian Buscher know that if they are going to win, they need to pick up the offense heading into the last few weeks of the season.
"I told them, if we’re not going to score a whole lot of runs, we’re going to have to play perfect," Buscher said. "And that’s hard to do when we’re going to give up some hits."
The Lady Vandals’ only run on Tuesday night came in the third inning when Audra Donaldson singled to left, driving in Katie Vieregge from second. The run made it a 4-1 game at the time.
Buscher said that Tuesday’s game was one of the worst games the Vandals have had on defense this season, with too many mental errors and four physical errors. The defense had been pretty good in recent games.
"Today is the first time in a while that I thought we did a poor job defensively," he said.
Vandalia had only six hits in the game, and none after the RBI single by Donaldson.
"Right now, we’re just in a funk," Busher said. "A week ago, I felt pretty good. We had people hitting up and down the lineup."
The Lady Vandals will host Greenville on Monday at 4:30 p.m. and travel to Hillsboro on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
Vandalia and Litchfield were deadlocked at 0-0 through five innings, before the Lady Panthers were able to plate two runs in the sixth inning to win 2-0.
Maggie Childers went 5 2/3 innings on the rubber and struck out five before she worked herself into a jam in the sixth inning. A leadoff home run to start the bottom of the sixth put Litchfield on the board 1-0. With one out, the Lady Panthers hit back-to-back singles to put two on.
With two on and one out, Donaldson was brought on to pitch. The first batter she faced, laced a double to center, scoring a run and making it a 2-0 game. Donaldson retired the next batter and got out of the inning on a fielder’s choice following a walk.
In their last chance at the plate, the Lady Vandals were able to get two on, but couldn’t drive them in.
Vandalia had six hits, two coming off the bat of Donaldson. The Lady Vandals’ pitching staff gave up eight hits and two walks.
Whitney Newsom had all three of Vandalia’s hits against Greenville last Wednesday. She also drove in both of its runs, the second coming on a solo home run to left-center in the seventh inning of Vandalia’s 6-2 loss to the Comets.
The Lady Vandals plated their first run in the fourth inning, trailing 2-0 at the time.
Amber Bruno reached on an error by the pitcher and moved up to second on a sacrifice by Donaldson. Newsom doubled to right-center, scoring Bruno.
Greenville scored four more runs in the bottom of the fourth to pull away.
The Lady Vandals struck out 11 times and walked once.
Childers took the loss, giving up five earned runs on 10 hits. She struck out two.