Mt. Vernon softballers fall to Diamond despite gem from Daniels

Skylan Akins

Next year’s team should be loaded for another good run thanks to current and incoming freshmen
The Lady Mt’neers have enjoyed yet another great season on the diamond. They received a four seed in their loaded district tournament that featured four state-ranked teams, and East Newton who just fell out of the top 10. The Lady Mt’neers opened up with an exciting walk-off win over that East Newton Lady Patriot team setting a semifinal between two top four teams in the state, as the fourth-ranked Lady Mt’neers hosted top ranked Diamond.

Both teams had likely all-state pitchers on the mound as Harley Daniels was fantastic for the Lady Mt’neers. Neither team mustered much offense through the first three innings, as there were only three combined hits and two belonged to Mt. Vernon seniors Hadley Cornell and Josey McChesney.

Diamond struck in the bottom of the fourth inning as an error by Mt. Vernon put the lead-off runner at second. Then Diamond’s second hit of the game proved to be lethal as a one out single drove in a Lady Wildcat, and Mt. Vernon found themselves down 1-0.

Mt. Vernon had a few opportunities to strike back starting in the top of the sixth inning after McChesney had a two-out single and Daniels walked, putting the tying run at second base. Freshman Rae Downing was unable to get the bat on the ball and the run was stranded. Diamond threatened to add on in the bottom of fifth with a pair of singles and in the bottom of the sixth with a leadoff double, but failed to tack on any insurance runs.

Diamond’s pitcher Madison Bentley saved her most dominant inning for the top of the seventh as she staved off any Lady Mt’neer heroics with three strikeouts to end Mt. Vernon’s hope of returning to the Final Four for the first time since 2019.

“We knew going into it that it was going to be tough and we talked about how it’s too bad that in a district semifinal, you’re going to get a state championship quality game and that is exactly what it was,” said Mt. Vernon head coach Matt Schubert. “Both pitchers were outstanding. The defenses played well and there were even some good at bats but just not much to show for. It was just an outstanding, outstanding softball game that just didn’t go our way.”

Harley Daniels was the tough luck loser taking the loss despite not allowing an earned run; allowing just five hits, no walks, while striking out five against a high powered Diamond lineup. The Lady Mt’neers only suffered the one costly error on defense but just couldn’t get anything going at the plate. The high octane Mt. Vernon offense that averaged 8.5 runs a game was stifled to just three hits and 12 strikeouts.
The loss ended the illustrious careers of Jessah Anderson, Kylee Stockton, Hadley Cornell and Josey McChesney.
“This was a group that was able to come in and contribute right away,” Schubert said. “Hadley would have started all four years at shortstop if not for COVID and was part of the Final Four run when she was a freshman. The other girls were right there as well, pushing the older players for playing time, especially Josie. Kylee and Jessah continued to work really hard for me and just kept improving to where they were able to play these last two years and be part of really quality softball teams.”

McChesney led the team in most offensive categories hitting .471 for the year with four home runs and seven triples. Cornell also surpassed the .300 mark, hitting .354 for the year.
The Lady Mt’neers conclude the season at 26-7 and ranked fourth in the final rankings. Expectations will be high again next year as the Lady Mt’neers bring back a loaded team that includes Harley Daniels, who finished the season 21-3 in the circle striking out 179 batters in 141 innings. She was also a force at the plate hitting .462 with 12 doubles and a team high 38 RBIs.
Also Returning will be leadoff batter Payge Evans, Allison Schubert, and the lethal freshman trio of Cheyenne Bieber, Molly Daniels and Rae Downing. The Lady Mt’neers will have another group of talented freshmen coming up to the high school level that should compete for playing time immediately.


Lawrence County Record

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


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