Lady Mt'neers take rubber match against Diamond

Skylan Akins

Rae Downing prepares for the pitch Monday against Strafford. The sophomore has been electric on both sides of the field, as she has been a fantastic backstop behind the plate along with leading the team with four home runs and six triples.

The win streak of Mt. Vernon softball has extended to 21 after three more wins last week against Strafford, Clever and a rubber match against Diamond.
The week opened last Monday against a state-ranked Strafford team. The Lady Indians have been a thorn in Mt. Vernon’s side in the first inning and they proved to be again scoring one run in the top of the first inning. Mt. Vernon responded with back-to-back doubles from sophomores Rae Downing and Ava Bellis. Strafford clapped back with another run in the top of the third to take a 2-1 lead. The Lady Mt’neers banged two singles and two doubles from the top of their order including another double from Downing that plated two runs as Mt. Vernon took a 4-2 lead.
Scoring halted until the bottom of the fifth when Mt. Vernon manufactured three more runs to take a 7-2 lead. The hot bats continued in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI triple from junior Payge Evans and RBI doubles from Allie Schubert and Harley Daniels as nine extra base hits from the Lady Mt’neers powered Mt. Vernon to an 11-2 victory.
Up next was a pitching duel on Tuesday at Clever. Senior Daniels threw yet another complete game shutout tossing seven scoreless innings, striking out 11 Lady Jays. It took Mt. Vernon four innings to plate a run against a Clever team that worked out of trouble a few times. Evans broke the tie as she scored on a sac fly from Schubert. Daniels would score her sister Molly in the same way as Mt. Vernon jumped to a 2-0 lead after four innings. Both teams stayed off the scoreboard until the top of the seventh inning as sophomore duo Cheyenne Bieber and Rae Downing started a two-out rally with back-to-back singles before freshman Hali Stokes drilled a two-RBI triple, before Bellis singled Stokes in the next at bat to give the Lady Mt’neers a 5-0 shutout win.
The week concluded with the third showdown with the second-ranked team in the state Diamond Lady Wildcats. Mt. Vernon took the first meeting, 4-3, on March 18 before falling four days later 8-2. A quick start was going to be crucial in this rubber match between the two top teams in the state. A double from Molly Daniels, and a single from Allie Schubert in the top of the first inning gave the Lady Mt’neers a 1-0 advantage. After pitcher Harley Daniels worked her way out of a bases loaded jam, Stokes brought Bieber in with a fly ball to the center fielder to double the lead 2-0.
Daniels got into some trouble in the bottom of the second inning when the third batter of the game tied the game with a home run. Unfortunately for Mt. Vernon, the damage wasn’t done, a huge rain soaked inning highlighted by a two-RBI double led to six runs and the Lady Wildcats jumped ahead 6-2. Mt. Vernon scratched two runs across in the third inning after Evans scored on a passed ball and Downing got yet another RBI double to cut the deficit in half to 6-4 after three innings.
Bellis walked to set up Ally Burk’s second home run of the season to tie the game at 6 to begin the fourth inning. Evans would take advantage of yet another wild pitch and Mt. Vernon took the lead back 7-6. Evans 2-3 game wasn’t over yet, as a 2-RBI double in the fifth inning capped off a five-run inning as the Lady Mt’neers coasted to a 12-6 win over their budding rival in Diamond.
Mt. Vernon improves to an impressive 30-1, avenging their only loss twice with one final meeting impending in the district title game. The Lady Mt’neers had one final prequel Tuesday at Ash Grove in preparation for their district opener at 11 a.m. on Saturday against the eighth seeded Southwest Lady Trojans.
Mt'neers Baseball
Mt’neers down Dawgs in rivalry game
Much like in all rivalry matchups in sports of all levels, there is one game that the Mt’neers had circled a little bit darker. That is the annual showdown against Aurora that resulted in a 5-1 win over the baseball powerhouse last Tuesday.
The week began on Monday as College Heights came to town. The 6-8 Cougars proved to be inferior to the Mt’neers in all phases of the game, resulting in a 10-0 Mt. Vernon win. The rival Houn' Dawgs visited Spirit of ’76 park on Tuesday. The pitching and defense of the Mt’neers proved to be too much and Mt. Vernon took the rivalry matchup game, 5-1. Mt. Vernon wrapped up the week with a tough trip to Hollister where the offense of the Mt’neers struggled, and the Tigers earned the 5-0 shutout victory.
Mt. Vernon improves to 10-8 for the season as we head into the home stretch. They got this week started Monday at home against Carl Junction, and Tuesday at Springfield Catholic. They will be back at home for their final home game of the 2023 campaign Friday night against McDonald County starting at 4:30 p.m.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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