BELTON — After playing without spectators at last year’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes Super Centex Victory Bowl softball game, Friday night’s fans — especially those of Academy’s Molly VandenBout — had plenty to cheer during the sixth annual game that allowed 30 seniors from 25 Central Texas high schools to represent their programs one final time.
VandenBout was 3-for-3 with a double and a three-run homer as the Blue team dominated Red for a 13-1 victory at Mary Hardin Baylor’s Dee Dillon Field.
The Red team was well-represented with area athletes, including Cameryn Stewart of Temple, Paige Nunes of Belton, Brooke Schmidt of Copperas Cove, Kendall Villagrana of Gatesville, Harley Staton of Moody and Ka’Dazjah Trimble and Marissa Stillwell of Harker Heights. The Blue team featured Granger’s Alexi Wade and VandenBout, whose performance was reminiscent of her senior season with Lady Bees in which she was stellar in the circle and even stronger at the plate.
VandedBout pitched the first three innings, allowing Red’s lone run in the top of the first after a leadoff single by Crawford’s Grace Powell, who eventually scored after stealing second, advancing to third on an error and coming home on a wild pitch.
VandenBout was otherwise solid in her three innings of work, giving up a single to Nunes in the second and a double to Schmidt in the third before leaving the circle with the game tied at 1.
Blue had tied it in the first with VandenBout’s RBI single off Schmidt that scored Lorena’s Ashlyn Wachtendorf, who led off with a single and stole second.
Blue broke the deadlock in the third when Groesbeck’s Addy Rich delivered a sacrifice fly to plate Bosqueville’s Victoria Mosqueda. VandenBout, who had doubled after Mosqueda’s leadoff single, scored on a single by Bosqueville’s Emry McDonough for a 3-1 lead.
An inning later, Blue put the game out of reach. Wade, who was 2-for-3 with a double, led off with a walk before back-to-back singles by Emilee Wade (Bosqueville) and Carysn Cox (Fairfield) loaded the bases for Riley Futrell (Florence), who walked on four pitches from Staton for a 4-1 lead. Wachtendorf then hit a two-run single to left to make it 6-1, and VandenBout sent a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall for Blue’s 9-1 lead.
Schmidt allowing four hits while pitching the first two innings then returned to the circle in the sixth in relief of Staton, who allowed four runs in the sixth.
Granger’s Wade, who pitched a perfect final inning for Blue, was 1-for-2 with a walk.
Nunes was 1-for-2 for Red, and Stewart was 0-for-1 with a walk.