Skylan Akins

The Mt. Vernon Lady Mt'neers pose with the Class 2 State Champion trophy. Pictured in the front row are, Payge Evans, Harley Daniels, Allie Schubert and Ally Burk. In the second row are, Hallie Bamburg, Lilly Burk, Rae Downing, Hali Stokes, Molly Daniels, Addie Hall, Cheyenne Bieber, Ava Bellis, Kaylee Scrivner, Mya Bray and Myah Niemeyer. In the back row Shaunta Evans, Lily Warden, Dakota Meschburger, Jayden Massie, Ella Duwe, Maddie Schubert, Isabel Cloud, Audrey Bittle, Madison Rinker, Emmie Schubert and Aubree Low.

The Mt. Vernon Lady Mt'neers hoist the State Champion trophy as their fans cheer them on after winning the Class 2 State Softball championship game on Tuesday, May 23.

The Mt. Vernon Lady Mt'neers softball team joins together to celebrate the program's second state title at Killian Sports Complex in Springfield, May 23. (Photos by Skylan Akins)

Mt'neer fan Dominic Schnelten cheered on the Lady Mt'neers and called out Coach Schubert challenging him to show them his best "griddy" moves.

After winning the state championship game, Coach Schubert obliged the fans with his best "griddy" moves.

Mt. Vernon Softball Completes Historic Run With Second State Title
The Lady Mt’neers finished their historic season last week with a 6-0 shutout victory over the West County Lady Bulldogs to hoist the 1st place trophy for just the second time in school history.
Softball in Mt. Vernon is a fairly new experience but success is not. Coach Matt Schubert started the program in 2013 where the Lady Mt’neers finished 9-7. The following year, Schubert led the Lady Mt’neers to their first Final Four, finishing fourth but with a 20-5 record. Just two years later in 2016, The Lady Mt’neers struck gold as a 25-7 season cumulated in the first state title in Mt. Vernon Softball history. Fast forward six more years, the Lady Mt’neers have never experienced a losing season and sit at 205-75 in their 10 seasons.
Mt. Vernon has had been impressive in years past, outscoring their opponents by significant margins but nothing that they have done in the past is even remotely as impressive as what they had done up to this point this season. They set the school record for runs per game in a season finishing just shy of 10 runs per game. They also set the school record for fewest runs allowed per game at just two and a half equating to a run differential of 377-94 against the best schedule in the state.
The Lady Mt’neers battled 17 state ranked teams throughout the season and finished with a 16-1 record against said teams with six run rule victories. Two of them coming in the quarterfinals against Sparta and Semifinals against Fair Grove. Mt. Vernon was able to dominate all opponents with a lineup full of hitters all hitting over .300 with 167 extra base hits. Along with the fierce lineup, A pitching staff that revolved around senior Harley Daniels was electric with a staff ERA of 1.52. Harley Daniels was electric with 229 strikeouts in just 180.2 innings of work, setting the school record.
This complete Green Machine slugged their way to the championship game with a 13-3 victory last Monday over state ranked Fair Grove in the semifinal game behind a 13 run third inning. Next up was a familiar foe in West County that Mt. Vernon defeated 11-1 back on April 1.
Mt. Vernon struck first after an Allie Schubert walk was followed up by a double from fellow senior Harley Daniels. Sophomore Rae Downing was hit by the next pitch and another sophomore Cheyenne Bieber lined a rise ball over the left fielder’s head good for two RBIs and three bases. Freshman Hali Stokes had a fantastic postseason run and a single brought Bieber in and before anyone could blink, Mt. Vernon led 4-0.
“Getting the four runs in the first inning was huge.” Schubert said following the game. “If we didn’t get it then, I’m not sure that we would have gotten it anytime else and it let us play with confidence the rest of the way.”
Mt. Vernon added on in the second inning as junior Payge Evans singled before sophomore Molly Daniels drove Evans in to take a 5-0 lead after two innings. Harley was electric in the circle for the biggest game of her career up to this point as the few opportunities for West County was snuffed out with strikeouts. After six shutout innings from Harley, the bats added one more run as Payge Evans made some history of her own with an RBI single in the sixth inning good for her 76th hit of the season which passed Makenzie Goswick of Joplin’s 2015 season for most hits in a season in state history.
The Score of 6-0 will be your final as a ground out to Hali Stokes would give Mt. Vernon their third out of the seventh inning and the celebration is on. The Lady Mt’neers finish the season with a 37-1 record and winners of their final 29 games of the season which is good for the sixth longest streak in state history, just nine wins away from the state record.
“This is amazing!” sophomore center fielder Cheyenne Bieber said of the victory. “we all wanted this from the beginning. We set our minds that we wanted to hit the 35 win mark and go undefeated. After the loss to Diamond, we knew that the only way back was a state championship” Bieber continued.
“I would describe the feeling as extreme joy.” Coach Matt Schubert said following the win. He continued. “I am just so proud of theses girls in the job they did. They left no doubt in the finish to the season we had. We had a great win against Diamond then we had some absolutely stellar performances from the quarterfinals on from so many of the girls up and down the lineup.”
Coach Schubert may already have a ring to his resume but this one will hold an extra special place in his heart as his two daughters Madilynn and Allison were important in the run.
“It’s hard to really appreciate how special it is right now in the moment but when we get to look back at it here in a few days, I’m sure we will absolutely enjoy the heck out of it coming up.” Matt Schubert said of the moments when he got to put the state championship medal on his daughters’ necks.
“I was trying so hard not to cry in that moment with the medal and giving me a hug after. I don’t even know how do describe how special this moment is. I was around the team when they won it in 2016 but its just so different now and I am glad we did it together.”
Two seniors get the extremely rare honor to win their final high school game. Allie Schubert and Harley Daniels were key contributors for this team this season. In addition to Harleys phenomenal numbers in the circle, she also added a .549 batting average with 40 RBIs and two home runs. Schubert saw a .380 batting average with 41 RBI’s out of the 2 hole with 39 runs.
“Allie and Harley were so important to our success. They have just taught us so much and they are just the best leaders I have ever had in a sport and I’m just so proud of what they accomplished in their careers.” Payge Evans said of the senior leaders.
The Lady Mt’neers will look to enjoy this one as long as they can but with the youth of this team, it’s hard to not be excited for the season coming up. They will return seven starters. Five hitters finished with a batting average of .400 or better including a sensational group of sophomores locked and loaded for a title defense.
“I just want them to know that they will have to continue to work hard and put in the same effort that we did this year. They also need to encourage everyone else to work just as hard and to never give up. The underclassmen are very talented and will have a shot to have another successful season next year.” Harley Daniels said of the returning crop of Lady Mt’neers.
This season was definitely one for the record books in both Mt. Vernon and for the state of Missouri but this team has the makeup to go on yet another run in 2024.


Lawrence County Record

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


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