After qualifying for the state softball tournament in Columbus last year for the first time in program history, Mount Vernon seems to have picked up where it left off early in the 2022 season.
Mount Vernon has gotten off to a strong start in its quest for another state tournament appearance with a 8-2 overall record and 2-1 mark in Region 6A, Division I as of Sept. 1.
For Mount Vernon coach Mike Edmonson, earning a spot in the state tournament a year ago has provided a boost for his team going into the ’22 campaign.
“It instills us with confidence and with desire to get back (to the state tournament) and prove we belong there year in and year out,” Edmonson said. “I think that it gives us a goal to shoot for. This is now the floor of the program. Our expectations are that we head to Columbus at the end of the year.”
While losing four starters from last year’s state tournament team, Edmonson said he is encouraged by his team’s development in the early stages of the season.
“I feel good and I feel confident about where we’re headed,” Edmonson said. “We’ve had a few bumps in the road. But we are overcoming those and getting stronger as a result and I feel really confident heading forward.”
Mount Vernon showed its potential when it won the Battle of Sandy Springs tournament, which was held Aug. 12 and 13, for the second year in a row.
The Mustangs defeated North Springs 14-0 Aug. 12 and then beat Holy Innocents’ 18-2 and Riverwood 12-4 to win the title.
“It’s fun,” Edmonson said. “We do (the Battle of Sandy Springs) early in the year and it’s a lot of fun, because almost all of these kids started playing ball at one of the rec parks around here (in Sandy Springs) and so many came to that tournament. So you’re running into people that you played with when you were eight years old and you’re playing ball with people you play travel ball with. Sandy Springs is a small community and it’s just a lot of fun to kind of come together and see how people have progressed.”
Junior pitcher Grace Westmoreland and junior catcher Reagan Hickey have provided a potent one-two punch both defensively and offensively for the Mustangs.
Sophomore pitcher Reese Hickey and freshman center fielder Priscilla Andrin have also made key contributions in a well-balanced Mount Vernon lineup.