By David Kapitan
The Van Lady Vandals have generated plenty of attention since the start of District 15-3A play, outscoring their first five opponents by a staggering 67-10.
Those numbers became even more impressive last week, with Van blanking both Mabank and Canton to improve to a perfect 7-0 in district play.
On April 1, starter Nicole Gandy carried the load for the Lady Vasndals, recording a perfect game in an 11-0 rout of the Mabank Lady Panthers.
Gandy went five innings, striking out 12 of the 15 Lady Panthers that came to the plate in a virtuoso performance.
Aided by seven Mabank errors, the Lady Vandal offense generated runs in every inning played.
Van plated one run in the bottom of the first, broke the game wide open with five runs in the bottom of the second, added a run in the third, and put the exclamation point on their impending win with four runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Hallee Carter, Ashlin Lovett, Kylee Moore, Haleigh Moore, Autumn McKinney and Jordain Castillo each recorded hits in the win.
Van closed their week with a 13-0 road win over the rival Canton Eaglettes on April 4.
Autumn McKinney backed Gandy’s perfect game with her own dominant pitching performance, allowing only one hit in five innings of work. McKinney added seven strikeouts, and went 2 for 4 at the plate with two doubles and 5 RBI.
Other Lady Vandal contributors in the game included Ashlin Lovett, who went 4 for 4 with a triple and 2 RBI, and Kylee Moore, who finished 3 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI.
Van has outscored district opponents 91-10 in seven games played.
The Lady Vandals, now 16-4-1 overall on the season, were scheduled to play at home against Mineola on April 8, in Athens on April 11, and back at home against Brownsboro for senior night on April 15.
The Van Lady JV squad made the trip to Canton on April 4, surrendering a late lead to lose to the rival Eaglettes 4-3.
Van managed to strike first in the game, plating two runs in the top of the first. The Eaglette offense cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the inning to trail 2-1.
Van added one more run in the top of the second, extending their lead to 3-1. Both starting pitchers would take care of business until the bottom of the fourth.
Canton plated three runs, coming from behind to take the 4-3 win. The loss moved Van to 1-4 overall in District 15-3A play.
Jordan Raglin pitched all four innings for Van, recording two strikeouts in the loss. Raglin finished 1 for 2 at the plate.
M’Kenna Daniel and Korri Crim also went 1 for 2 at the plate for the Lady Vandals.