By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Pitching and defense helped the NW Vandals 14U rebound after a tough first game Monday morning against the Bandits in the opening round of the 16/18U Gold Bracket-play.
Even in that opener, the opening four innings of Alli Parker’s start were strong as the Vandals and Bandits were knotted up at zero before the Bandits erupted for eight runs in their 8-1 victory to start bracket play. Parker had four strikeouts in four-and-two-third innings pitching.
In their second game against the Hillsboro Diamondbacks 2002 16U team, pitching and defense shined once more as Lacey Vasas had a perfect game going into the sixth inning.
A Diamondback single that bottom half of the inning broke up perfection, but an RBI double by Vasas and RBI single by Payton Burnham in the eighth inning helped the NW Vandals 14U squad defeat their 16U counterparts to advance to the consolation bracket championship game.
“We’re one of those teams that no matter what, we’re going to try our hardest. It’s even us having fun, it doesn’t matter if we win or not we always have fun with it,” said Vasas. “So it wasn’t much of a struggle because we know we have each other backs.”
Vasas pitched all eight innings, allowing three hits with five strikeouts on 84 pitches.
In their final game of the day, the bats of the Vandals came around and supported their defense with eight runs on 16 hits in their 8-0 win over the Mace NW Nitro 14U in five innings.
Burnham pitched the contest, pitching a one-hitter with five strikeouts after pitching two-third innings against the Bandits of no-hit softball as the NW Vandals scored six of their eight runs in the opening two innings of Monday afternoon’s game to finish 4-1 on the Memorial Day Weekend Tournament.
Burnham and Vasas combined for four hits with their defense allowing one run over the last 13 innings while combining for 10 strikeouts in the circle.
“We did pretty well and that it was pretty cool,” said Burnham, who went 2-for-3 with a RBI in the final game of the day. “I think it was a really good comeback for us to not do as well in the first game and then comeback and win the next two. Especially when we were super tired, so it was super cool.”
Desirae Hatfield went 3-for-3 with two RBIs in the win over Mace NW Nitro 14U.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald