116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MOUNT VERNON — Speed is one thing, but only half of the equation of effective baserunning.
'If you're fast, that's great,' Mount Vernon softball coach Robin Brand said. 'If you're smart and look for opportunities to run, that's just as good.
'If you have both, you can look like lightning.'
Eighth-ranked Mount Vernon was fast, smart and opportunistic, running Monticello out of the postseason tournament, 13-2, in a five-inning Class 3A regional semifinal Friday night at the Mount Vernon/Cornell softball facility.
The Mustangs (27-15) forced the tempo and ran with abandon, taking advantage of five errors and eight wild pitches.
'We really have an aggressive mindset,' junior Noelle Ossenkop said. 'It comes naturally. We really want to put our foot on the pedal.'
Mount Vernon will host East Marshall (17-17) in a regional final at 7 p.m. Monday, with the winner advancing to the state tournament the following week. East Marshall edged Vinton-Shellsburg, 5-4, Friday.
Monticello retired at 14-15. The Panthers got out to a 2-0 lead on Rylee Warthen's home run in the top of the first, but the Mustangs shrugged it off.
'It didn't even faze the girls,' Brand said. 'After the inning was over, they ran in (to the dugout) and said, let's get them right back. There was a lot of confidence and belief.'
The Mustangs took control with five runs in the bottom of the second, then added two in the third and six in the fourth.
Ossenkop was in the middle of all three scoring rallies, leading off the second with a walk and starting the third with a single. She singled again in the fourth and scored three times.
'Our confidence was really high,' Ossenkop said. 'We were up the whole game. We didn't let down.'
Samantha Moss and Bailey Hauser added two hits apiece for the winners.
The Mustangs have speed, and they also have Madi Speed. The sophomore pitcher recovered from Warthen's early blast and retired the final seven batters she faced.
MOUNT VERNON 13, MONTICELLO 2 (5 innings)
Class 3A Regional Semifinal, at Mount Vernon
Monticello 200 00 — 2 4 5
Mount Vernon 052 6x — 13 8 0
Caitlyn Cruise and Tori McDonald. Madi Speed and Bailey Hauser. W — Speed (15-6). L — Cruise (6-10). HR — MONTI: Rylee Warthen (7).
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