photo by GEORGE “CLAY” MITCHELL
Van Buren’s Breanna Vest hits a foul ball during Thursday’s Pink Out game against Fayetteville. The Lady Pointers defeated Fayetteville 12-4 in the 7A/6A West Conference game.
It took one time through the lineup for Van Buren figure out Fayetteville pitcher Courtney Pool.
The Pointers pounded the Bulldogs for 12 hits to stay unbeaten in the 7A/6A-West softball season with a 12-5 win Thursday at the Pointer softball complex.
Van Buren (17-3, 6-0) stayed atop the conference standings along with 7-0 Bentonville.
“We still haven’t played a very good game yet, to be honest,” Pointers coach Andy Williams said. “We were not good defensively and our pitcher was behind on the count. We haven’t played out best game yet, but I want to play our best game to date.”
For two innings, the Pointers struggled against Pool as she just allowed one run on two hits the first time through the lineup.
“I’ve kind of had to learn not to overcoach them about pitchers,” Williams said. “I told them she was left-handed and that was it. See the ball, hit the ball. Hitting is contagious — when one hits, everyone seems to hit.”
From the third inning on, the Van Buren bats came alive in a big way.
Breanna Vest opened the third being hit by a pitch followed by an Ashton Sangster’s single. One out later, Emilee Aaron blasted a three-run homer to left for a 4-1 Van Buren lead.
The Van Buren defense, though, committed two errors in the top of the fourth that led to three Fayetteville runs. DeAnna Rudasill had an run-scoring single but the errors fueled the rally.
“We had a miscommunication on the flare to right and (Fayetteville capitalized),” Williams said. “What pleased me is that we came back and answered at the plate. We hit the ball well again.”
After that defensive hiccup, the Pointers then pulled away with another three-run inning in the fourth and a five-run outburst in the fifth to open a commanding 12-4 edge.
Sangster’s two-run double fueled the Van Buren fourth and she came around to score on Stafford’s RBI hit.
In the Van Buren fifth, Stafford had an RBI double while Vest and Austyn Deere had RBI hits while Ashley Deffenbaugh drove in a run on a groundout.
Fayetteville coach Jason Shirey said Van Buren’s bats were just too much for his team to overcome.
“Andy has as good an offensive group as he’s ever had at Van Buren,” Shirey said. “We have a small margin for error. I thought we competed well offensively, but they hit the ball hard especially with runners on base.”
Sangster and Deere had three hits each while Stafford and Destiny Moses each had two.