Tanager softball home openers set for Sunday

The second of five Sundays of high school girls softball will be played this weekend, and in Vermillion's case it will be the home openers for the Tanager teams.

Vermillion will host Harrisburg for varsity and JV games with the first pitch slated for 12:30 p.m.  The Tanagers began the season at Sherman Park in Sioux Falls last Sunday with the varsity losing to Madison, 10-4, and to Brookings, 9-6.  The junior varsity dropped a pair of 12-0 contests to Brookings and West Central.

The varsity was rolling along through two innings against Madison as Lizzie Bye retired the first six batters she faced.  One of the outs came on a spectacular center-field catch by Beth Szymonski.  Meanwhile, Vermillion put a 3-0 lead on the board.  A first-inning run scored on Bye's triple while an error and an infield grounder off Claire Jones' bat plated a pair of second-inning tallies.

After Madison got one run back in its half of the third, a six-run, seven-hit fourth turned the game around.

Trailing 10-3, the Tanagers got one run back in their last at-bat on an infield out by Sami Girard.

Vermillion had hits in every inning and stranded nine runners in six innings and was outhit by only 11-10 despite the run differential.  Bye, Sam Schuster and Elly Miller had two hits each.

Brookings jumped out 6-1 after 2 1/2 innings of the late game, but the Tanagers rallied with a four-run third.  Three straight walks started the inning, then Szymonski's single, a bases-loaded walk by Shelby Christopherson and a two-run hit by Schuster got Vermillion back into the game.  VHS tied the score at 6-6 on a single by Bye in the fourth.

Brookings answered, however, going right to work with two in the fifth and one in the sixth to gain its final three-run advantage.

Brynn Albers pitched for VHS, giving up 14 hits, while the Tanagers accumulated seven, including two by Szymonski.

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