Sylan Akins

Senior Harley Daniels drills a single to the outfield in part of the monster fourth inning explosion against Fair Grove. Daniels was also lights out in the circle, allowing just two hits and two walks in the 13-2 victory. (Photo by Skylan Akins)

Lady Mt’neers celebrate their quarterfinal win over Sparta as freshman Lillian Burk does a spellbinding victory dance in the team’s wizard hat. (Photo by Skylan Akins)

In support of the softball team’s journey, a police escort for the team bus as it headed out of town included siren-blaring cops cars and fire trucks, which made their way through downtown not once but twice this week. (Photo by Ryan Sqibb)

Mt. Vernon softball slugs their way to state quarterfinals, semifinals, finals
Lady Mt'neers played for state championship Tuesday

The Mt. Vernon Lady Mt'neer softball team's 13-3 win over Sparta Tuesday, May 16, set up a state semifinal showdown with a Fair Grove team that Mt. Vernon already beat 12-2 back in April. However, the stakes were much higher Monday night in the state's Final Four matchup.
The Lady Eagles struck first in front of a rambunctious crowd at Killian Sports Complex in Springfield as they truly manufactured a run, after a walk and an error set up a pick-off attempt that allowed the runner to score. However, Mt. Vernon found themselves in this position before. Mt. Vernon threatened in the bottom of the first and in the second, but Fair Grove was able to work out of trouble. The Lady Eagles got a sacrifice fly after a lead-off double in the third inning to give Fair Grove a 2-0 lead.
The explosive powder keg that is the Lady Mt’neers' offense had their biggest explosion of the season in the bottom of the third inning starting with singles from Ally Burk, Payge Evans and Molly Daniels. Allie Schubert hit a sac fly bringing in Burk. As the pitcher was walking back to the mound, Evans noticed there was no one covering home and stole home to tie the game at two.
Ten of the next 11 Mt. Vernon batters would have RBI hits starting with a triple from sophomore Rae Downing. Cheyenne Bieber brought Downing home on the next pitch. Then doubles from Stokes, Burk and Evans opened the flood gates to the tune of 8-1. Four straight singles from Molly Daniels, Allie Schubert, Harley Daniels and Rae Downing followed by a Bieber walk extended the lead to nine, 11-2, in favor of the Lady Mt’neers. Stokes put a ball into right to conclude the scoring in the 11-run third inning as Mt. Vernon took the 13-2 lead after three innings.
Hurler Harley Daniels would look nearly unstoppable on the mound for the next two innings and a fly ball to Cheyenne Bieber in the top of the fifth inning would conclude a dominating victory for the Lady Mt’neers, 13-2, and the Lady Mt’neers are feeling that this is a team of destiny.
“I am feeling confident," said sophomore Rae Downing. "The Diamond game (in the district championship) was really tough, but since then it has been a run-rule in Sparta and another one here today. West County is a good team so we can't overlook them but we are feeling good.”
The Lady Mt’neers boast an overall record of 36-1, and a date with 24-3 West County remaining with a state title on the line. Mt. Vernon met up with the Lady Bulldogs once before early in the year, where the Lady Mt’neers gave West County their first loss of the season, 11-1. The game saw Harley Daniels do damage on both sides of the plate. She threw five innings of one-run ball while collecting three hits, two doubles good for two RBI’s. Payge Evans also had a 3-4 day with a triple and two RBI’s and Downing was a perfect 3-3 with a triple and an RBI.
If Mt. Vernon can keep the hot bats rolling, you have to like the odds of the No. 1 team in the state completing their season of destiny.


Lawrence County Record

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


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