HERRIN – Weather ended up being the ultimate opponent in Mt. Vernon’s opening round softball game.
The Lady Rams trailed Carbondale 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Lightning delayed the game at about 5:27 p.m. About 90 minutes later the game was called.
“We could tell there was rain on the way,” Mt. Vernon coach Lance Boldt said. “We all knew it. It was just could we have the lead or at least when it came, and it just came at the wrong time I guess.”
The matchup was in the bottom of the fifth inning with the home team, Carbondale, up to bat making it an official game. The Lady Terriers advance to Saturday’s championship game.
“The umpires made it pretty clear to me that after four and a half with the home team having the lead, it can be called,” Boldt said. “It appears that this is it.
“It’s just a disappointing way to end the season.”
The Lady Rams started strong behind the long ball to build a 5-1 lead.
Page Clinton rocked the third pitch of the game over the left field fence to put Mt. Vernon up 1-0. Hannah Wright followed with a long home run to center field to make the score 2-0.
“I think we came out with confidence,” Boldt said. “We felt as if we had a chance to win this game.”
Mt. Vernon’s offense continued to click in third inning. Clinton and Wright both reached on errors. Haley Lockhart followed with a booming three-run homer to put the Lady Rams up 5-1.
“That really got us fired up,” Boldt said.
The Lady Terriers responded in the fourth inning. It marked the defining inning and Carbondale’s biggest offensive output. The Lady Terriers loaded the bases against Kelby Kujawa, Carbondale’s McKenna Miller ripped a double down the third base line past Mt. Vernon’s drawn in infield. The double cleared the bases and helped Carbondale close the gap to 5-4.
The Lady Terriers tied the game a batter later and took its 6-5 lead after a wild pitch.
“Other than the bottom of the fourth, I felt like we gave ourselves a good shot at winning this game,” Boldt said. “Just one bad inning and it seemed like it epitomized the whole season for us.”
An inning later the game was delayed and eventually rain soaked the field.
Mt. Vernon ended the season 11-16 overall.