Marauders swing past Cougars


A 13-hit offensive effort was backed by an errorless defensive effort for the Mt. Vernon softball team in their Hoosier Heritage Conference game Friday.

Mt. Vernon softball defeated Greenfield-Central 5-4 in a battle to the end.

The Marauders’ 13 hits and two home runs were matched by the Cougars’ nine hits and one home run. By the end, the Cougars had slowly clawed their way back from a 5-0 deficit after the fourth inning. It was bottom of the seventh with one out and a walk brought up the top of Greenfield-Central’s order.

Kensie Bradley (who went 3 for 4 on the night) beat a grounder to shortstop. With two runners on, Lexi Rankin moved a runner to third and Sam Kihega hit her in. With runners on second and third, the Cougars couldn’t quite cross their fifth run and the Marauders came away with the victory.

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A solid Marauder defense and a consistent performance from freshman Karlee Franklin gave the Marauders the edge they needed to keep the formidable Cougars offense at bay. Two double plays in the fourth and sixth innings halted any Cougars offensive rally.

“When you play defense like that behind [Franklin], that’s what’s going to do it for you,” Mt. Vernon head coach Veronica Kirby said.

The fourth inning double play came right after Greenfield-Central’s Sydney Williams knocked one out of the park to put them on the board 5-1. The quick work in the fourth didn’t stop the Cougars in the fifth, however. Rankin had a big RBI double and Kihega hit the next runner in to make the score 5-3.

But the Marauder offense’s quick attack created too big of a distance.

“We had some wrong pitches at the wrong time and good hitting teams will make you pay — and they did,” Greenfield-Central head coach Jason Stewart said.

In the first inning alone, Haley Kissee, Riley Hasseld and Sydnee Perry got three hits in a row, with Perry’s a run-scoring double.

“It gives you confidence when you start off with hits and a run,” Kirby said. “It lets you breathe a little.”

Both teams connected at the plate, but Mt. Vernon found the holes.

“We hit the ball hard all night; unfortunately, we hit a lot of hard balls right at them,” Stewart said. “Credit to them for making the plays defensively.”

Two more hits for the Marauders left two on base in the second but three hits in the third scored Perry. Then Cassidy Parker and Kaitlyn Nugent broke things open in the fourth with two home runs.

“That’s great leadership from seniors – stepping up and not being intimidated by a competitive Greenfield team,” Kirby said.

While they didn’t score the rest of the game, they left five more runners on and totaled 12 runners left on base in the game. Kirby said that will be their main focus coming into Saturday’s doubleheader against Indianapolis Lutheran.

Greenfield-Central drops to 1-3 in the conference and 7-4 overall and will play next at home against Fishers on Tuesday.

Mt. Vernon moves to 7-3, 3-1 HHC.