Photo by Jeff Yoder
Your Prep Sports
SOLON – Solon wanted a sweep of Highway 1 rival Mount Vernon on Wednesday.
The Spartans wanted to lock up the WAMAC East Division title, give Madison Rogers a happy senior night and stretch its winning streak to 13.
Solon didn’t get the everything it wanted on Wednesday but given the circumstances one win didn’t seem so bad to the Spartans.
Playing its third doubleheader in as many days and with a depleted pitching staff that got just one inning from ace Kayla West Class 3A tenth-ranked Solon split a doubleheader with Mount Vernon winning the opener 5-4 and dropping the nightcap 11-8.
Solon had a 12-game winning streak stopped with the loss and dropped to 23-6 and 10-3 in WAMAC East play.
The Spartans close the conference season with the completion of a suspended game with Anamosa on Thursday.
“It’s been really tough especially not having all our pitchers at 100 percent,” Solon junior Taylor Ryan said of the busy week. “I think we’ve done our best and obviously we don’t want to lose to Mount Vernon but we are doing the best with the situation we are in. With all the games we have we are going one at a time and we move on to Anamosa tomorrow.”
Solon rallied from a 3-0 first-inning deficit to win the opener 5-4 on a go-ahead RBI single by Skylar Stookey in the sixth.
The Spartans led the nightcap 7-2 after Stookey launched a grand slam during a five-run Spartan second inning.
Mount Vernon (17-17) scored the next nine runs and held on for an 11-7 win that kept its WAMAC title hopes alive.
The Mustangs moved to 8-3 in conference play with three conference games remaining, two against Western Dubuque and one with Dyersville Beckman.
“I’m not really concerned with the loss because the girls fought I’m concerned with making sure the kids are making the steps in the right direction at the right time,” Solon coach Erin White said. “Sometimes a loss here or there is actually a really good thing, I think the key indicator is going to be how we approach tomorrow and how we approach the next couple of days.”
Things got off to a bumpy start for the Spartans.
Bailey Sullivan ripped a two-run homer in the first inning to put Mount Vernon up 3-0 after one inning.
Solon starter Kayla West who has been battling an illness was replaced by eighth-grader Carly Ellison after the three-run Mount Vernon first.
Ellinson was excellent, allowing one run on five hits over the final six innings to record the win.
“I think we have a lot of confidence in each other and that has shown,” Ryan said. “Defensively or offensively when we get in tough situations we don’t panic.”
Solon got a run in the third and took a 4-3 lead with three runs in the fourth.
Jadyn Jeter had an RBI double and eighth-grader Ava Stebral an RBI single in the three-run fourth.
Stookey gave Solon the lead the next inning when she ripped a single to left to score Ryan.
“We talked about just working one at a time and getting baserunners,” Stookey said. “We couldn’t get down on ourselves because there is a lot of ball left to be played after the first inning.”
Ellinson retired the final seven batters she faced to secure the win.
After jumping to a 7-2 lead on Stookey’s grand slam Solon let the nightcap slip away in the night cap.
Sullivan had a two-run single in a four-run Mount Vernon fourth inning and Lauren Ryan added a pair of insurance runs with a two-run opposite field homer in the seventh.
With West unavailable sophomore Peyton Sands got the start and went 2 1/3 in game two.
Ellinson worked three innings of relief and Madison Sprague handled the final 1 2/3 innings.
“I was so proud of them,” White said of the young Solon pitchers. “I am very hard on them and I hold them with pretty high regards and I think they are amazing athletes and I know they are young and they are doing a great job. They are out there fighting.”
Stookey was 2-for-3 with five RBI in the nightcap while Ryan went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs.
Stebral had two hits in game two and was 4-for-7 in the doubleheader.
Mount Vernon 300 010 0 – 4 8 1
Solon 001 310 x – 5 9 2
W – Carly Ellison L – Amanda Roe
2B – SOL: Taylor Ryan, Jayden Jeter, Jada Buffington
HR – MV: Bailey Sullivan
Mount Vernon 204 003 2 – 11 9 1
Solon 250 000 1 – 8 11 2
W – Amanda Roe L – Carly Ellison
2B – MV: Sammy Moss
HR – SOL: Skylar Stookey; MV: Bailey Sullivan, Lauren Ryan