Big first inning propels Mount Vernon to 11-2 win

PICKERINGTON — A quick start was all the Mount Vernon softball team needed Tuesday.

The Yellow Jackets erupted for five runs in the first inning and cruised to an 11-2 victory over Pickerington North in the Division I District semifinals at Pickerington.

Hope Straight started off the bottom of the first in style, beating out a grounder to shortstop and then moving to second when the rushed throw got past the first baseman.

Megan Pentz then singled her home and the opening barrage was just beginning. A double by Macee Marcum and then a safety squeeze by Brooke Radermacher plated another run before Bryn Elliott smacked home Marcum with a double of her own. Annie Neipling then had the big blast of the inning, cranking out a two-run homer to left center field.

“We’re a hitting team. There’s not really anyone who’s an easy out,” said Mount Vernon coach Mike Marcum. “Bryn (Elliott) normally hits six or seven, but her bat’s starting to come around so we moved her up and it paid dividends tonight.”

The Jackets added two more in the second on RBI doubles by Pentz and Elliott. Then, in the third, took advantage of Pickerington North’s fielding and throwing issues to score four more. With two outs, Carlena Fiorilli reached on an error and was knocked in when Straight pounded a home run. A walk and two more North errors led to two more runs.

After cruising through the first two innings, Mount Vernon pitcher Macee Marcum struggled in the third, allowing two runs on three hits. But, Straight came on to finish out the game and shut down the Panthers.

Meanwhile, the Jackets offense went cold, as they got just one hit (a double by Savvy Blubaugh) in their final three at bats.
“Tonight, we came out to prove a point. Then, we took our foot off the gas,” coach Marcum said.

The Jackets got home runs from Straight and Neipling on the day. Straight also added a single. Elliott finished with two doubles and two RBIs, while Pentz had a single, double and drove in two. Blubaugh also had a double and a single, while Marcum had a double.

On the mound, Marcum struck out two, while allowing three hits and two walks in the first three innings of play. Straight worked the final four, fanning seven while allowing two hits and one walk.

With the victory, the Jackets will return to the district finals for the fourth year in a row. They will play Teays Valley, a 9-8 winner over Pickerington Central, at a time and date to be determined.

“We’ve got some unfinished business. … Hopefully, we’re hungry enough,” coach Marcum said.

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Fred Main: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @