GREENFIELD — Less than 24 hours after being no-hit at Fishers, Mt. Vernon arrived at Greenfield-Central Friday evening with a new mindset.
Forget about the past. Play for late May.
The fresh mantra worked. And after a 14-1 pasting of the Cougars Friday, it’s clear the Marauders are a much better squad than their 2-11 record indicates.
MV (1-1 Hoosier Heritage Conference) pounded out 15 hits – nine of which came during a nine-run sixth inning – and got a 12-strikeout performance from pitcher Ambry Turpen en route to a six-inning victory.
After Fishers sophomore Gabbi Schnaiter struck out 18 of the 23 Marauder batters she faced Thursday, McGill delivered a message to his team before they left Hamilton County.
“The only thing we can do is have a short memory,” he said to them. “Walk away from (the game) as soon as you get off the bus – it’s done with. It didn’t even happen.”
G-C aided MV’s cause Friday with four errors and other miscues, such as overthrowing relays and wild pitches. The Cougars’ 8-1 start is now a distant memory as the team has slipped to 11-5 overall and 0-4 in conference games. On top that, ace pitcher Darcie Huber exited after the first inning with an ankle injury.
The blue and gold are an extremely young team – junior second baseman Brie Whitaker was the squad’s lone starting starting upperclassmen Friday – but in the mind of coach Jason Stewart, youth is no excuse for the unit’s miscues.
“That’s been our biggest issue. The games we’ve lost our defense has been terrible except the Yorktown game,” Stewart said. “They’ve got to be mentally tougher. It’s as simple as that. You’ve got to quit looking at how old you are; it’s the same game they’ve played hundreds of times in travel ball. Nothing changes; you just have to be mentally tougher than they are right now.”