By Steven Kochersperger
Heading into this weeks’ stretch of games Mount Vernon softball coach Dave Bell had been telling his team to keep “plugging away.” That “never give up” attitude paid off as the Lady Cats improved their standing in the Big Eight Conference by beating Jasper 5-4 last Monday for their second straight win.
The game began in the same way many games have this season for the Cats, with the opponent scoring first and putting Mount Vernon in a hole. Jasper struck first in the bottom of the first inning with a two-out single putting the visitors up 2-0. Mount Vernon would score in the third inning on Ellen Denning’s base hit and then again in the fourth on a ground rule double by Tylyn Tanner. But when Jasper scored two more runs in the fifth inning, making the score 4-2, it seemed that what has been plaguing this Mount Vernon team had struck yet again.
“I just told the girls out there to not panic,” coach Dave Bell said.” We got down 4-2 and we just kept plugging away and hung in there and it paid off.”
And boy did it ever pay off. In the bottom of the sixth inning Wildcat Tylyn Tanner hit her second double of the game putting the tying runners on second and third base with one out. That’s when freshman Ellen Denning came up to the plate and drove the ball over the fence for her sixth home run of the year to place the Wildcats up 5-4. That would be enough as the Mount Vernon defense stepped up to end the game in the seventh inning.
“This was a real good win for us,” coach Bell said. “We really struggled losing four of five in a row and now we have a couple of the winning side. Jasper is a nice ball club and today was a big win especially for our conference standing.”
The win improved Mount Vernon’s conference record to 2-1 and place them right in the middle of the race for a conference championship.
The schedule has been a factor as of late and the Cats have responded well to it. Mount Vernon took that winning momentum into the next few games of the week playing hard and getting the results they look for. The team showed that they can come back strong even after a loss.
The Cats played Gibson Southern Wednesday and lost in a tough matchup to the state ranked Titans 11-9. The Cats then rebounded nicely the very next night as they traveled to Memorial and beat the Tigers in impressive fashion. Mount Vernon jumped on Memorial early and led 10-0 at the end of three innings of play. The Wildcats went on to beat Memorial 11-4 behind the great play of senior Morgan Matthews. Matthews not only picked up the win on the mound but also hit a home run for the Cats to help them get the win.
Mount Vernon ended their week by traveling to Tecumseh and beating the Braves 5-4 for their third win of the week. The girls have won four of their last five games, two wins coming against ranked teams, and seem to be heading in the right direction. Overall the Wildcats are 6-7 on the season and look to continue that momentum heading into this weeks’ slate of games.
The softball team will host Princeton Tuesday and Bosse Wednesday before traveling to Tell City on Saturday.
By Steven Kochersperger
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