West Union advances to north half championship

Finally being able to step on the field after recent delays from the weather, West Union wrapped up its north half semifinal series with a 12-2 win in game three against Vardaman on Tuesday.

The day opened with the conclusion of game two, where the Lady Rams were in front 10-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning. West Union added one more run on an error, but the Lady Rams scored four runs in the top of the fifth, capped by a base-clearing double by Laken Lucius.

Leading 14-2, Vardaman shut down the Lady Eagles in the bottom of the fifth to take the game and tie the series at one game apiece.

“We knew we were down. We weren’t going to give it away, but we also looked at it as an opportunity to wear down their pitcher some, so that was our goal,” West Union coach Lisa Bogue said of the game two match-up. “I told them that it was a clean slate, a new ball game, and the winner would advance; loser done. We wanted to keep going, and they knew what they had to do and focus in for an hour and a half, forgetting about everything else.”

West Union’s offense went to work quickly, taking a 1-0 lead after the first. Vardaman placed runners on first and second with no outs in the top of the second, but the clutch play of junior pitcher, Britney Taylor, shut down the Lady Rams with three straight strikeouts.

The bottom of the second saw the Lady Eagles score four runs off five hits, including RBI doubles by Jesslyn Brewer, Julianna Garner and Gina Beth Conlee.

Down 5-0, Vardaman would score its first run in the third on a double by Whittney Gee, who finished with two hits in the game. West Union added a run in the bottom of the third and plated four more in the fourth inning to lead 10-2.

With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, the Lady Eagles placed two on base, and Bailey Bogue and Hannah McQuary brought in the two runs needed to take the game and advance to the north half championship.

“There was no offense in game two, but I think we did better pitch selection when we were in the box, and we swung at better pitches,” Bogue said her team’s offense in game three. “That was a huge difference.”

Garner led the Lady Eagles’ offense, going 4-for-4 with two RBI. Bogue also had multiple hits for West Union.

Next for the Lady Eagles is the north half finals, where they will take on Smithville, who advanced after a series sweep of Myrtle last weekend.

“We have a few days to rest and regroup,” Bogue said. “We need to refocus, regroup and do our homework.”

Game one for the series is set for Saturday at Smithville. Games two and if necessary three will take place at West Union on Monday.