Saga continues for Lady Mt’neers softball, championship against Diamond

Skylan Akins

Mt. Vernon’s Cheyenne Bieber leaps to the plate after tying the Mt. Vernon single season home run record Friday against Sarcoxie.  (Photo by Skylan Akins)

Best two out of three? We will get the grudge match of the Mt. Vernon-Diamond battle for a district title and likely the state title. The two teams met in the district championship game for the first time in 2022 where the Lady Mt’neers fell 1-0 despite Harley Daniels throwing a no hitter. Diamond eventually went on to win a state title. Last year, it was a higher scoring affair but it took Mt. Vernon a walk-off hit to cap off a comeback victory to defeat Diamond, 7-6, en route to a state championship. The two teams secured a spot in the 2024 Class 2 District 6 tournament with wins over East Newton and Lamar Monday night.
The district tournament began Friday as the Lady Mt’neers took on Sarcoxie. Junior Cheyenne Bieber was in the circle and she has been fantastic as of late. She continued the trend Friday. Each team opened with a 1-2-3 inning before the Lady Mt’neers struck hard in the second inning. Bieber singled to break up four walks to begin the frame as Mt. Vernon held a 3-0 lead before the Lady Mt’neers hit a ball past the pitcher. Lilly Burk ended the trend with a single to right field to extend the lead 5-0. Singles from Ally Burk and Rae Downing drove in two more runs in part of an eight-run second inning.
Bieber got four more strikeout victims over the next two innings as Downing and Hali Stokes drove in runs with a single and double early in the fourth inning to take a 10-0 lead before history was made. Bieber shot a fly ball over the center field fence for her eighth home run of the season; tying the school record for home runs in a season, on the way to a dominating 13-0 win in the opening round of districts.
“Tying Maya’s (Henderson) record means a lot,” Bieber said. “I have known her since I was born. It was a goal coming into the season and now the goal is to hit one more this season to beat her record.”
The win set up a semifinal game against the three-seed East Newton Monday night. The Lady Mt’neers struck quickly once again with a 1-2-3 top of the first inning before finding offense. Payge Evans led off the game with a single and eventually scored on a throwing error on a Molly Daniels bunt attempt. Downing drove Daniels in to take a 2-0 lead. Bieber continued her tremendous season at the plate with an RBI triple to extend the 3-0 lead. Scoring would halt until the top of the fifth inning when the Patriots hit a triple, driving in a run. East Newton made for some uneasy times in Mt. Vernon with another RBI single to cut the lead to 3-2 after five and a half innings. RBI singles from Emmie Schubert and Lilly Burk in the seventh inning proved some insurance that proved to be necessary as two runs in the top of the seventh inning weren’t enough to knock off the Lady Mt’neers.
Mt. Vernon improves to 27-8 for the season with perhaps their toughest task of the season Tuesday in a third matchup of the year with 34-1 Diamond—with a district title on the line.


Lawrence County Record

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


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