By PAUL HINES
---- — MT. VERNON – One bad inning cost the Lady Rams softball team heavily Monday.
Mt. Vernon yielded nine runs in the fourth frame to Herrin and lost 11-4 Monday.“The bottom line is we had a bad inning, and we've had a few of those this year where we just can't get it solved and can't make plays,” Mt. Vernon coach Lance Boldt said. “You have to tip your cap to them because they put the ball in play and made things happen.”The Lady Rams entered the fourth inning up 4-0, but the Tigers knocked five hits and took advantage of some Mt. Vernon miscues, during the rally. All five hits from Herrin were singles, but the Lady Rams committed three errors in the inning to keep the barrage going.Herrin's Taylor Winn finished the scoring with a two-run single to make the deficit 9-4.“You give a team six, seven outs in one inning like Herrin, they're going to capitalize,” Boldt said. “And they did.”Mt. Vernon dominated the opening portion of the game, piling up four early scores against Winn.Page Clinton and Kelby Kujawa started the game with singles. Clinton came in to score on a fielder's choice. Malorie Garner made the advantage 3-0 when she rapped a two-run single.Clinton upped the lead to 4-0 for the Lady Rams when she rocked a second inning solo home run over the left field fence.“Page is such a catalyst for us,” Boldt said. “She makes things happen.”After Clinton's home run, Winn retired 18 straight Mt. Vernon batters.Despite the loss, the Lady Rams did get a bit of good news. Haley Lockhart, who was the team's starting shortstop last season, received her medical release. The Mt. Vernon senior has been sidelined from sports since an ACL injury and subsequent surgery during the winter.“I know that she's released, but we have to make sure we're not going to do anything that's going to hurt her or put her college basketball career in jeopardy,” Boldt said. “But if she feels good at the plate and she feels comfortable and her knee's not bothering her at all, then we might be able to use her at the plate.”Mt. Vernon is 6-11 this season and hosts Carbondale today.