Bieber shines as Lady Mt’neer softball falls just short in district title game

Skylan Akins

Mt. Vernon junior Cheyenne Bieber celebrates the first run of the district championship game with No. 7 Lilly Burk and No. 21 Jocelyn Liss. (Photo by Skylan Akins)

The defending state champion Lady Mt’neers will now just be known as the 2023 state champions as they fell in the district championship game to the No. 1 team in the state, Diamond, 5-3 Tuesday night.
Mt. Vernon’s Cheyenne Bieber and Diamond’s Taelyn Reeder were both impressive in the circle as each of them got through the first inning scoreless. Mt. Vernon struck first in the second inning as a lead-off double from Bieber got things rolling for the Lady Mt’neers. She would advance to third after a sac bunt from Emmie Schubert and a passed ball allowed the game opening run to cross the plate. Bieber continued to be a one woman wrecking crew getting the Lady Wildcats to go down in order in the bottom of the second inning.
The Lady Mt’neers struck again in the third inning after a walk to Payge Evans set up an RBI double from Rae Downing. It seemed like the Lady Mt’neers were in business once again but Downing was gunned down trying to take third and the lead would sit at 2-0 in favor of the Lady Mt’neers.
Diamond finally got on the board in the bottom of the third inning as an error allowed a runner to reach third base before Lady Wildcat star Lauren Turner hit a massive sac fly to cut the lead in half. Mt. Vernon still led 2-1.
Bieber continued to dominate the game. After tying the single season home run record with eight against Sarcoxie in the district quarterfinal game, a big fly from the bat of Bieber earned her a spot in the Mt. Vernon history books, as well as gave the Lady Mt’neers a 3-1 lead. Diamond responded to the adversity with a two-out RBI single that cut the Mt. Vernon lead to just 3-2.
Mt. Vernon looked to be back in business in the fifth inning earning a couple of walks but failed to convert, stranding the bases loaded. The game took a swing in the bottom of the fifth inning when coach Matt Schubert decided to give the Lady Wildcats a different look in the circle bringing in freshman Emmie Schubert. Emmie had pitched well this season but the heart of this Diamond lineup did what it has done all year. A walk and an error led to a two-RBI double that gave Diamond a 4-3 lead. After the next batter singled, Coach Schubert put Bieber back in to pitch. She sat down the next two batters. However, a fielder’s choice did allow one more run to cross for a 5-3 lead.
Mt. Vernon’s bats struggled to get going in the sixth inning but some promise for heroics came in the seventh inning. Molly Daniels reached base via a two-out walk to bring up Mt. Vernon career leader in home runs Rae Downing representing the tying run. After a foul ball that was mere inches from hitting the foul line Downing hit a rocket to the third baseman who gathered the ball and made the out at first to secure the district title for Diamond, 5-3.
The Lady Mt’neers finish the year 27-9 after another tremendous season. Mt. Vernon is still a very young team but they will lose a pair of seniors going into a promising 2025 season. Allyson Burk and Payge Evans graduate as two of the most accomplished players in Mt. Vernon softball history, ushering in the post-covid era that has been very successful for the Lady Mt’neers. The two have a career record of 108-23 for an 83 percent winning percentage. The two were members of a 2023 team that broke the state record for hits in a season, doubles in a season, triples in a season, total bases in a season and finished within the top three in several other categories. Evans set an individual record a year ago, breaking the state record with 76 hits in a season and should approach the top 10 for hits in a career. Burk also had a productive career, capping it off with her best season as a senior, hitting .413 with four triples this season.
While the Lady Mt’neers fell short of their lofty goals, it was another tremendous season with perhaps a better 2025 in the scope.


Lawrence County Record

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


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