MOUNT VERNON — For a while, it looked like the Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets softball team was going to give a very good Olentangy Orange squad more than it could handle.
The Pioneers, however, broke through with six runs in the final two innings and prevailed, 9-1, in Friday night’s Ohio Capital Conference game.
“That’s a state-ranked team,” said Mount Vernon coach Mike Marcum, referring to the Pioneers. “I was pretty proud of our girls and they played. They stepped up to the occasion — that’s what I told them.”
It was all about Olentangy’s 6-foot-2 pitcher Mason Robinson, who fired a four-hitter to earn the win. She started with a two-run advantage right at the onset, when Pioneers shortstop Abby Davidson hit a double and scored on a single by first baseman Abby Kurelic. Kurelic later scored on a sacrifice.
“We faced (Robinson) once before over at their place,” said Marcum. “They’ve seen her and they weren’t intimidated by her size or anything. I told them to just go up there and hit the ball.”
In the bottom of the first Robinson, who kept the ball down in the zone and was hitting her targets through most of the game, would make her only mistake. It was a pitch that Mount Vernon first baseman Maggie Hale blasted it over the leftfield wall for a solo homer.
Mount Vernon pitcher Brittany Roden wiggled out of a two-on, two-out jam in the second inning. In the third, catcher Kyle Davidson singled for the Pioneers, then would score on a Robinson RBI single to make it a 3-1 Pioneers’ lead.
With one out in the top of the fourth, Roden yielded a pair of hits and was yanked in favor of reliever Molly Chacey, who walked Abby Davidson to load the bases with one out. Chacey, however, didn’t panic, and managed to get the final two outs with no damage.
“I told (Orange’s) coach that we hung with them for a while,” said Marcum. “I think we had them scared.”
The Pioneers continued to cling to their lead until Kurelic had an RBI single in the sixth, which was followed by a two-run double by Davidson with two out to make it 6-1. Center fielder Jamie Pence’s 3-run homer in the seventh finished the job.
“We have a long season ahead of us,” said Marcum. “We only started the second half, so we can still cause some problems for some folks. We’ve got two games (at the Gahanna tournament) providing it doesn’t rain. We have a big game on Monday with Delaware (who beat the Jackets, 14-7, earlier this season) — they’re in our sights.”