By Paul Hines
MT. VERNON —
Woodlawn's softball team piled up the runs against the Lady Rams on Monday.
Woodlawn seized an early lead and won 12-2 in five innings in the Mt. Vernon Invitational. DuQuoin beat Waltonville/Sesser-Valier 14-0 in the other matchup.
All four teams played in frigid, snowy conditions with temperatures hovering in the high 30s. The adverse weather led to the cancelation of the second games for each school.
“They made plays. We didn't,” Mt. Vernon coach Lance Boldt said. “They were able to fight through the cold and the wind, and we didn't.”
Carly Ethridge pitched all five innings for Woodlawn. She added three hits, a walk and four RBI. Christy Barnes finished with a hit and two RBI.
Alexis Stewart had a hit and two RBI for Mt. Vernon.
Woodlawn jumped to an early lead with a run in each of the opening two innings. The Lady Cardinals piled on the offense in the final innings. Woodlawn ripped off 10 scores in the final three innings.
“We've seen a little bit of live pitching, but for the most part that was our first one,” Woodlawn coach Matt Patterson said. “(The) leadoff kids did a good job getting on base, and we moved some runners along, put pressure on their defense.”
Ethridge coaxed a bases loaded walk to give Woodlawn a 3-0 lead in the third. Barnes followed with a two-run single to push the advantage to 5-0.
Mt. Vernon chipped into the deficit in its own half of the third inning. Karli Verheyen ripped a one-out double. She scored on a Woodlawn error. Mt. Vernon made the score 5-2 when Alexis Stewart knocked a double. Mt. Vernon was retired in order in three of the five innings.
“Probably the first three games of the season, my biggest concern right now is our offense,” Boldt said. “I don't understand. I think our approach needs to get better. I think that we need to go up there with a little bit more of a killer instinct.”
Mt. Vernon moved just three runners into scoring position against Ethridge. All were in the third inning when the Lady Rams scored their runs.
“I thought she had a couple quick innings early, and we got a couple runs and she feed off that and kept the ball down in the zone,” Patterson said. “Our defense was pretty good and got us some quick, easy outs.”
Woodlawn is 1-0 this season. Mt. Vernon dropped to 0-3 overall.