By PAUL HINES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — The Lady Rams softball team scored three runs without a hit in a crucial fourth-inning rally Tuesday against Effingham.
Mt. Vernon drew three walks in the inning and claimed a 7-5 win. The game marked the final home game for the seniors.
“We have six seniors, and they all play a big role in what we do,” Mt. Vernon coach Lance Boldt said. “It’s never easy when you play that last game at home.”
Every player in the Mt. Vernon lineup reached base in the game. Some got on by an error. Others reached base with walks and hits.
“That’s really, really important for us to find a way to get on base,” Boldt said. “They got a little bit wild there in the fourth inning, and that really opened up the doors for us.”
Mt. Vernon entered the fourth inning down 3-1. Summer Hobson led off the inning and was hit by a pitch. Lauren Wilson walked and the bases were loaded after Malorie Garner reached on an error.
Alexis Stewart and Rachel Wright both coaxed walks with the bases jammed to tie the game. Garner eventually scored on an error to put the Lady Rams up 4-3.
The Lady Rams tacked on more runs in the next inning. This time Mt. Vernon attacked.
Haley Lockhart ripped a single to start the inning. The senior finished with three hits and a walk but left the game with discomfort in her surgically repaired knee.
“I guess they’re saying it’s possibly just some scar tissue that broke off is what we’re hoping,” Boldt said. “It’s going to be a little bit sore, and we’ll watch it and see.”
With Lockhart on first, Hannah Wright launched a double, and Hobson followed with an RBI single to left. Garner delivered the big blow of the inning. She rocked a double to deep right-center field to chase home a pair of Lady Rams and give her team a 7-3 edge.
“The floodgates opened, and we were able to score a few runs,” Boldt said. “For whatever reason all year, it’s contagious with us. We start getting people on, we find ways to keep getting people on. We just try to keep that going as often as possible.”
Effingham tacked on two runs late in the game, but Wright pitched the final two innings for the save.
Haley Chelf started and pitched the opening three innings. Kelby Kujawa relieved her and was the winning pitcher.
“It was just a solid performance with all three of our pitchers,” Boldt said.
Mt. Vernon is 10-13 this season and travels to Centralia for its final South Seven Conference matchup today.