MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets Macee Marcum and Hope Straight combined for three home runs Wednesday at home against Ashland, with Marcum’s coming in the fifth inning to end the game because of the run rule, 12-2.
“I kind of felt it going up to bat,” Marcum said. “I felt like I needed to make contact. Even if I just got on base, someone behind me was going to hit me in because we’ve been on fire since we started the season, really.”
The Jackets went into the fifth inning ahead 8-2. Bryn Elliott scored on a wild pitch and Mollie Pentz was brought around on a double from straight, who later scored on a sacrifice fly by Megan Pentz. With the lead at 11-2, Marcum took the second pitch she saw over the right field fence.
Mount Vernon got better as the game rolled on, scoring in every inning. Straight scored in the first on a wild pitch and she had a big swing in the second that went over the fence in center to score herself and Elliott, pushing the lead to 3-0.
After three straight strikeouts thrown by Straight, the Jackets were back at the plate. Marcum scored again on a popup by Brooke Radermacher. On the next at-bat, Annie Neipling scored on a wild pitch, giving Mount Vernon a 5-0 lead.
Ashland did not go away easily. In the fourth, Averi Iceman hit a double to the fence, which scored Abby Fossaceca and Brooklyn Lee, who both got on base via a single. The Jackets closed out the scoring chances for the Arrows with three-straight outs.
In the last part of the fourth, Mollie Pentz got aboard on a single and Straight had her second bomb, again to center field. On both of her home runs, they were high, but had enough distance to get out.
“No matter what, hustle,” Straight said of her two home runs that were deep high fly balls. “Get to first and advance 60 feet at a time. Don’t just assume it’s a home run.”
Later in the fourth, Maddy Burdette hit a double to plate Megan Pentz to push the lead to 8-2 heading to the fifth. Straight was dominant on the mound in the fifth, with back-to-back strikeouts, a walk and then a groundout to set the Jackets up for their four-run fifth to end the contest.
Straight had an outstanding day at the plate, going 4 for 4 with two home runs, two doubles, five RBI and four runs.
“You’ve got to know the ump’s zone and adjust to the plate, trust in your teammates and believe in yourself first,” Straight said. “That’s what I did and it all came together.”
Marcum and Neipling each had a pair of hits on the day, combining for an RBI and three runs. Burdette, Elliott, Mollie Pentz and Megan Pentz each kicked in a hit in the game, with Burdette and Megan Pentz each batting in a run. Radermacher also had an RBI in the game and Elliott and Mollie Pentz each scored a pair of runs.
Straight worked the circle for the Jackets, throwing all five innings, surrendering four hits, two earned runs and three walks, while notching 11 strikeouts in the win.
“That’s the way we went into the season this year,” Mount Vernon coach Mike Marcum said. “We were splitting games last year, and this year I thought we were going to do something a little different and let them take a whole game. As long as they didn’t get in trouble, they were going to stay in the circle, and she did a fine job.
Iceman led the Arrows with a double and two RBI, while Brandilyn Reymer, Lee and Sheri Nichols each added a single. Reymer pitched four innings, allowing 10 hits, eight earned runs and a walk with eight strikeouts. Skye Briggs came on in relief and threw two-thirds of an inning, surrendering two hits, four earned runs and two walks.
The Jackets kept alive their unblemished 9-0 record and continue action Friday at home against Olentangy Liberty, with a 5:15 p.m. first pitch.