MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon starting pitcher Kylee Marcum fired a no-hitter and struck out 12 as the Yellow Jackets stopped the visiting Westerville Central Warhawks cold in their Central Division Sectional matchup, 4-0, on Monday evening.
“When you have a pitcher who has 12 strikeouts in a game, you better be winning that game,” said Mount Vernon (15-7) coach Carisa Frysinger. “(Marcum) is a force to be reckoned with on the mound. Her presence is outstanding. If she keeps pitching like this, and we step our bats up, we’re not done. We’re going to have a longer season.”
After a slightly shaky first inning, where she gave up a pair of walks and hit a batter, Marcum settled down, eventually retiring the last 12 of 13 batters she faced.
“I had a few walks in the beginning and that hurts a pitcher,” said Marcum. “But, coming back from three balls and no strikes to strike a girl out feels pretty good.”
Offensively, the first three of four Jackets to come to the plate scored. The Jackets, who had seven hits for the game, also did their share of scrapping. First baseman Karina Shackle, who led off the game with a hit and eventually scored on a passed ball, went 1-for-2 for the day. Marcum added an important sacrifice bunt in the inning.
Leftfielder Natalie Scott made it to first via a walk. She scored two batters later when Victoria Queen blasted a one-out triple. Queen was 3-for-3. Catcher Kayla Riley followed with a single to bring home Queen.
With a few runs up on the board and a good defense behind her, Marcum went about the business of rearing back and throwing it by the baffled Westerville Central batters.
“We did play very good defense,” said Frysinger. “We talked a lot out there.”
“It gives you more confidence on the mound when you know, if they get hold of one, that it’s going to get caught,” said Marcum.
The Jackets have won 15 of their last 17 games. For Frysinger, this is extra special because the Jackets lost a bunch of senior starters in 2008 and many were satisfied to look upon 2009 as a rebuilding year.
“Coming into this year, I think most people — even the players and the community — thought we were going to have a rough year,” said Frysinger. “We started out 0-5 and then, something lit a fire under our butts.”
The Jackets know what they will be facing when they play in the Division I Central District Sectional Final at host Teays Valley on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.
“Offense definitely wins ball games,” said Marcum. “We’re playing a good team on Wednesday and our bats will have to be strong.”