MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon Yellow Jackets (14-0, 8-0 OCC) jumped on visiting Wooster Generals’ starting pitcher Addie Wharton for seven runs in the first two innings. In the meantime, the Jackets got a complete game, 14-strikeout performance from pitcher Hope Straight, cruising to an 8-2 win on Wednesday in their Ohio Cardinal Conference matchup.
Straight was touched up for seven hits and a pair of runs. The hit she gave up to Wooster’s Taryh Welty, in the opening inning, was the first one that she allowed in two weeks, going back to April 10 against Ashland in the fourth inning. That snapped her string of hitless innings at 14, which includes tossing two consecutive no-hitters.
“A lot of pitches were working,” Straight said. “I just worked the zone — in and out, up and down. I just made sure I hit my spots and my teammates did the rest.”
It was Straight who led off with a triple in the first inning and scored on a Macee Marcum single. Marcum scored on a double by teammate Annie Neipling (2-for-4 and a pair of RBIs). That was one of only four extra base hits for the Jackets in the game.
In the Jackets’ second, Savvy Blubaugh (1-for-4 and a run scored) singled and scored on a throwing error to the shortstop that sent Mount Vernon’s Molly Pentz (a double and a run) all the way to third base. She scored on a single by Megan Pentz. Neipling stroked a single to drive home Megan Pentz and give the Jackets a 5-0 lead in the second.
“Our whole lineup is solid,” Neipling said. “We don’t have one weak spot in our lineup. We all contribute, offensively. Our team has confidence and we know what we can do.”
Brooke Radermacher drove Neipling home with a single and then she scored on a single by Bryn Elliott to give Mount Vernon a comfortable 7-0 lead after two innings. Rademacher reached base in all four plate appearances, getting a pair of hits and scoring twice.
As for Wooster, Straight fanned 10 of the 12 Generals she faced in one stretch. The Generals, however, lifted starting pitcher Wharton, bringing in Welty in the third inning. In a total of four innings of relief, Welty managed to hold the Jackets to a run on five hits, while striking out a pair.
The Generals had dug a hole too deep to get out of — especially against Straight, who tossed a scoreless game until the seventh inning. Ironically, it was Wharton who got a small measure of revenge, socking a 2-run homer off Straight — too little, too late.
Wednesday’s win, coupled with the Jackets’ 15-3 shellacking of the Generals on Tuesday, gives Mount Vernon a sweep of the regular season series between the two teams.
The Jackets will travel to Keystone LaGrange High School in Elyria this weekend to play Friday against Lake High School at 5:45 p.m. Then they play Saturday against St. Joseph’s Academy and Steele High School. This tournament promises to be a real test for the Jackets, who will need to fight to hold on to their state No. 1 ranking.
“Those are three of the best teams in the state,” Mount Vernon coach Mike Marcum said. “This is a chance for us to play against some highly-ranked teams. That’s why we go up there. Last year, we played schools that were all ranked, too. We need this kind of a challenge to prepare us for the rest of the season and the post season.”