For the Tribune
FORTVILLE — The Marauders got a well-pitched and well-defended game Wednesday as they hosted Hoosier Heritage Conference foe Pendleton Heights. What they couldn’t get was a key hit when they needed it.
Pendleton Heights managed to string together four consecutive hits in the third, yielding three runs, and Mt. Vernon failed to cash in on scoring opportunities in three of the first four innings as the Arabians knocked off the Marauders, 3-0.
Mt. Vernon fell to 4-10 overall and 0-5 in the conference, while Pendleton Heights improved to 15-7 and 3-1.
All the scoring came in the third inning as the first four Arabians collected hits off Mt. Vernon starter Victoria Whyde. A sacrifice fly by Arabian junior Kelsey Sturgeon capped the rally and staked Pendleton Heights to a 3-0 lead.
Whyde, pitching her final home game on senior night, threw four strong innings, allowing seven hits, striking out two and walking none. Junior Kaitlyn Nugent dealt three shutout innings of relief in what coach Veronica Kirby described as one of the best-pitched games of the year for her club.
“I think we had a lot more confidence out there today than I’ve seen all year,” Kirby said. “We hit our spots well, and we understood pitch calls and what to expect in those situations. It was a great learning experience, and it was the best that both of them have thrown this year.”
Offensively, the Marauders had their chances against Arabian starter Audrey Ricker. They had the lead-off batter on base in each of the first three innings and had a runner in scoring position with fewer than two outs in three of the first four innings. They just couldn’t break through against the Arabian senior.
“We just never connected at the right time and left too many people on base,” Kirby said. “We haven’t seen live pitching in a week, and seeing that today is going to help, but the timely hits were the one component missing today.”
The Marauders honored their five seniors, Makenzie Gee, Mackenzie McCann, Madison Lyons, Victoria Whyde, and Macie Dungan, prior to the game. Kirby said the kids mean a lot to the team.
“I have five phenomenal seniors,” she said.
Pendleton Heights 3, Mt. Vernon, 0
PH (15-7, 3-1 HHC);003;000;0;—;3;9;0
MV (4-10, 0-5 HHC);000;000;0;—;0;5;0
WP: Audrey Ricker LP: Victoria Whyde
2B: Makenzie Gee (MV), Jade Mollenkopf (PH).
RBI: Savannah Hawhee, Ashley King, Kelsey Sturgeon (PH).
Notables: Jadan Fithian 2-3 (MV). Lauren Landes 2-4, R, 2 SB, A. Ricker 7 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 3 K (PH).