MOUNT VERNON — A couple of days made a world of difference for the Yellow Jackets.
Two days after surviving a a scare in the district semifinals, Mount Vernon unloaded on Delaware Hayes in a run rule-shortened 14-2 win in last week’s Division I district softball championship game.
Next up for the third-seeded Yellow Jackets (23-3) is a regional semifinal showdown with No. 12 Pickerington Central at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Olentangy Orange High School.
Mount Vernon needed a walk-off hit from Layne Cook to secure a 4-3, eight-inning win over Gahanna Lincoln in the district semifinals. No late-game heroics were necessary against the Pacers. Mount Vernon belted five home runs in capturing its third district crown in four seasons.
“It feels amazing. There’s no other feeling (like it),” senior catcher Brooke Radermacher said at the time. “I’m just so happy right now, it’s amazing. Our last home game, to be able to go out with a win with my girls, it’s awesome.”
Radermacher and Rae Straight each smacked a pair of homers in the win. Straight sealed the deal with a three-run home run in the sixth.
“We feed off of our energy. And every player in that dugout feeds off of that energy,” Mount Vernon coach Ryan Pentz said afterward. “When they get it going, when they get that energy going, it’s just contagious in that dugout.
"The other night, we didn’t have that same exact energy we had tonight. They came out and corrected it tonight, and it showed the change in the game.”
Pickerington Central is coming off a pair of upset victories in the district. The Tigers beat No. 2 Grove City 7-5 in the semifinals before knocking off No. 11 Hilliard Darby 5-2 in the final.
Meanwhile, Danville is in the regional tournament for the sixth straight year after dismissing Northmor 9-4 in the Division IV district final last week.
The top-seeded Blue Devils will take on No. 4 Newark Catholic at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Pickerington Central. Newark Catholic beat No. 5 Morral Ridgedale 11-1 in six innings to reach the Sweet 16.
Danville jumped to a 9-2 lead in the third and cruised from there. The district title was the 14th in program history.
“It’s a credit to this program and these kids, and the time and dedication they put in,” Danville coach Charlie Duncan said. “This group has grown leaps and bounds and I’m super proud of them.”