Mountie softball opens season with Mountie Invite


NEW MARKET — After  a week of battling with mother nature, Southmont softball finally was able to open up their 2024 season on Saturday. The Mounties hosted the inaugural Southmont Softball Invite as it was a three-team round robin tournament that featured Seeger, South Putnam and the Mounties. In game one of the day Southmont got their season started with a dominating 16-3 win over the Patriots while in game two the Mounties mounted a seventh inning rally but fell short against South Putnam 10-7 to end the day going 1-1.

Against the Patriots, Southmont’s offense capitalized off a very young Seeger squad and in total drew 12 walks while getting nine hits. Mallory Mason had a pair of doubles and a single to go a perfect 3-3 in the win. Haley Scott doubled while Charlotte Garver, Kenzie Douglas, Kami Dinius, Jenna Grino, and Anna Stokes all singled. Coach Dan Taylor noted how it was a great way for his team to begin the year.

“Our girls played very well in all aspects,” he said. “We put a big emphasis on our defense after committing over 100 errors and I thought it looked very good. We put in a ton of reps to get better in that area specifically and it showed out there on the diamond. I was very happy with what we saw from both Kyndale Rice and Haley Scott on the mound.. They threw strikes and for our first game, we were a lot sharper than what I thought we’d be.”

Rice on the mound threw three innings for the Mounties and got the win. She gave up three earned runs and three hits while striking out one and walking one. Scott as a junior will be able to give the Mounties another arm this season and in two innings she struck out three and the only blemish was a walk as she didn’t surrender a hit.

In the second game of the day against a young but talented Eagles team, the Mounties never quit. South Putnam began the game with two doubles and immediately got on the board with two runs in the first. Grino was hit by a pitch, stole second base and advanced to third on an error. Rice then singled to bring Grino home. South Putnam went on to score single runs in the second and third innings to lead 4-1, but in the fourth is where the Mountie offense found some momentum. A single by Douglas with two outs sparked a rally and Stokes singled, Grino doubled, and Mason singles and the Mounties evened things up at 4-4.

A big six-run fifth by the Eagles broke things open, but Southmont continued to claw back. A sac fly by Grino in the sixth made it 10-5 and Southmont drew three walks in the seventh and a single by Grino made the game 10-7 with the go-ahead  run in Mason at the plate. Mason hit a liner to right field but a great snag by the Eagles ended the rally as South Putnam captured the championship.

“We were happy that we could play competitive softball with South Putnam who is a great team and is only going to get better,” Taylor said of the second game. “It’s hard to continue to just claw your way back but that’s what our girls were able to do. We had the go-ahead run at the plate with the bases loaded. We thought South Put would be closely matched with us and I think that was the case today. We hit the ball hard, they just made some great defensive plays in the outfield.”

In putting together this single day tournament, each team got to play two games and see a lot of different players. Southmont and South Putnam are Class 2A Sectional 44 foes and could square off again late in the post-season. Taylor noted how all-around it was a great tournament foe everyone involved.

“Getting to play two quality 2A teams in one day was very important to us. Both Seeger and South Putnam have great kids and have great coaches and it was a fun day for some softball. From our perspective and this being our first game, the girls played awesome Southmont softball.”

The Mounties will now turn the attention to opening up Sagamore Conference play on Tuesday against perennial 3A power Tri-West. The Mounties travel to Lizton on Tuesday and are home Wednesday against the Bruins. It’ll be a busy week as Thursday they travel to Fountain Central and Friday travel to Clinton Prairie.