By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– A day after the NW Vandals 16U and 18U squads faced off in the Stripes Bracket Championship, the 14’s joined their older counterparts Sunday when they played in the Blue Bracket Championships at Wallace Marine Park.
Coming off holding off a late charge against the Corvallis Lady Knights-Westby 6-4, the Vandals faced the Bat Company-Bailey for the title to close out the Stars ‘n’ Stripes bracket.
It was weird to think by looking at the 14-0 result that it took the Vandals some time to heat up, taking until the second inning before Lauryn Johnson’s 2RBI single off the first basebag to open the flood gates. The NW Vandals scored four runs that inning to break the then 0-0 gridlock.
“Everyone was pretty hot, everyone could make contact,” said Desirae Hatfield, who went 3-for-3 in the Championship game for the Vandals.
McMinnville’s Margo White, who entered the game on a slump hitting 1-for-6 on Saturday, snapped out of her slump Sunday with a 1-for-2 day in the doubleheader opener and her two-run home run in the third sparked a seven-run inning that had all but separated the Vandals and Bat Company on this day.
“I was struggling with the bats this weekend, but that was…once I saw that pitch, I just snapped at it,” said White, who went 2-for-4 Sunday with 3RBI’s on the day. “It was good. It was also apart of something and we all got hits.”
The Vandals 14U crew collected 14 hits Sunday. Breezy Summers joined Hatfield with three hits in the Championship Game, going 3-for-3 with 4RBI’s. Rowan Thompson and Ellie Berg each had two hits apiece.
Defensively, the Vandals defense allowed just one hit with Lacey Vasas and Payton Burnham both combining for the one-hitter and striking out a combined seven batters in the process.
“We did good, I felt comfortable pitching because I knew they had my back and they’ll do anything they could to get the win,” said Burnham, who had five strikeouts in two innings pitching. “I think we did pretty darn well for our first tournament.”
The pitching staff of Thompson (two-and-a-third innings pitched), Vasas (four-and-one-third) and Burnham strucked out a combined nine hitters as them and their defense allowed just seven hits Sunday evening to close out their first tournament of 2020.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald