MOUNT VERNON — Neither a cold, rainy, windy day nor the Newark Wildcats could stop the Mount Vernon High School softball team on Tuesday afternoon. The Yellow Jackets came from behind after Newark scored a first-inning run to win, 4-1. It is their third win in the last four games.
“The weather was a hard thing to fight through,” said Mount Vernon’s Raven Farley. “We came out slow in the first inning, but then it all just came around. We started hitting, and took it to them.”
Mount Vernon (5-6) starter Kylie Marcum pitched a complete game, allowing just two hits while striking out nine. While her numbers look good on paper, the outing was anything but ordinary for Marcum, who walked five and threw three wild pitches.
“This feels really good,” said Marcum. “I’m sure every team looks at us as a weaker team because we are so young. Having another win under our belt gives us more confidence.
“It is so hard to pitch in the rain. When you are landing on something soft, it is difficult, but I tried my best to work through it.”
The Jackets’ defense also had its moments, making two errors, but all-in-all, it put together another solid performance.
Newark (1-7) struck first, taking advantage of one of those Mount Vernon errors. Aubrey Felix reached on the leadoff error, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and, following a pop-up, came around to score after an RBI double to left-center field by Olivia Bybee. Marcum walked the next batter, but ended the inning after striking out Newark’s Seleina Baker looking to end the threat.
Mount Vernon went down 1-2-3 in the first inning, and didn’t threaten until two outs in the second. Catcher Kayla Riley doubled to center and pinch runner Shelbie Biddle moved up to third on a wild pitch, but the inning ended with a strikeout.
Newark had base runners in each inning as Marcum walked the leadoff batter in four of the last six innings, but was never able to take advantage of them. Mount Vernon, however, didn’t have that problem.
“It was very important (for us to answer) to show the heart, desire and the want we have,” said Mount Vernon coach Carisa Frysinger. “They scored the one run on us, but we weren’t just going to sit down and roll over.”
A leadoff walk to Lindsey Finnell started the third inning, and after a wild pitch and a passed ball moved Finnell to third, Farley hit a 2-2 pitch back up the middle to drive her in. Farley stole second during the next at-bat, and then raced home after Marcum hit an RBI single to left.
“I went in there fired up and was ready to hit,” said Farley. “I knew there was a girl on third and I needed to get her in.”
“Raven broke it open today with the RBI single,” Frysinger said. “We’ve been leaving too many runners on base lately, so that was good. Then, Kylie did it a couple of batters later. It was good to see.”
From there, play advanced fairly quickly as neither team could string anything together. Mount Vernon managed to turn the tide, however, in the sixth inning and added to its lead.
“We really didn’t string a whole lot together, but what we did worked,” Frysinger said.
A one-out single by Olivia Starmer started things off and Victoria Queen followed with a fielder’s choice to short. Starmer beat out the throw, however, and both runners were safe. Riley walked to load the bases, leaving Newark starter Lauren Anderson in a bind. With the rain picking up, play continued and Anderson struggled. Her control failed her as she pitched to Natalie Scott, and Scott walked to force in Starmer with another Yellow Jacket run.
Play was suspended at that point at the rains picked up, but after a short delay, both teams were able to retake the field. Anderson struck out the next two Jacket batters to end the inning.
Following a leadoff walk to start the seventh, Marcum finished off the Wildcats in order.
“I thought Kylie pitched very well,” said Frysinger. “Her only downfall was too many free passes on walks. She was making them hit pop-ups or hit it into the ground, and we were playing the bunt really well.
“Offensively, I think we lacked a little confidence. I try to tell them, ‘When you get in the box, look intimidating. Make that pitcher scared to face you.’ Some of them I thought did that, but they all need to look like that.”
The Jackets’ recent showing has Frysinger believing her team is on the verge of something great. This week should go a long way in proving her beliefs.
“We play league games Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so if we keep playing like this, we could do something,” said Frysinger.
A road trip to Olentangy Orange is next up this afternoon, before a makeup game Thursday at New Albany. The Jackets return home on Friday to play Delaware and then host Big Walnut in a make-up game on Saturday. Weekday games are set for 5:15 p.m., while Saturday’s single game is set for noon.
“Tomorrow against Olentangy (Orange) should be a really good game,” said Marcum. “We played the earlier and did really well. We’re hoping to get to that .500 mark with a win. ... (Getting there) would be really big, especially after going 0-4 to start the season. That was really tough.”