Bluejackets defeated by Springs Valley 9-5 in crucial conference matchup

By Noah Dalton

FRENCH LICK – Mitchell High School was unable to hold on to an early lead on Tuesday against Patoka Lake Athletic Conference opponent Springs Valley, ultimately falling to the Blackhawks 9-5.

The Bluejackets scored their first runs of the game early in the first inning when a single from Page Mullis allowed Avery Southern, who singled a few at-bats earlier, to cross home plate. Shortly after, Mitchell would get two more thanks to a two-run hit from Emerie Russell, which scored Malaya Tanglao and Mullis.

Mitchell’s Avery Southern connects with a pitch against Springs Valley

After allowing just one hit in the bottom of the first, the Bluejackets scored another run in the top of the second on a sacrifice fly from Tanglao, which scored Rylee Brazzell, who drew a walk earlier in the inning.

It was at the bottom of the second when things began to unravel for Mitchell. The bases were loaded early with no outs after an error from the Bluejackets’ defense, as well as two Springs Valley batters struck by pitches from Mitchell’s Karsyn Coleman.

The Bluejackets were able to record back-to-back outs next, one on a fielder’s choice, the other an Ashlyn Bonta strikeout, while not allowing the Blackhawks to score a runner.

Springs Valley was on the board for the first time in the game after a double from Brynne Buchannan scored two. In the following at-bat, an error committed by Mitchell allowed two more runs to score, tying the game at 4-4. The Blackhawks would then take the lead in the next at-bat when Lily Hickman singled to center field to score Emri Allen before the final out was recorded.

Mitchell’s Caitlyn Mullis extends to catch a fly ball against Springs Valley

After a scoreless third for the Bluejackets, Springs Valley would score two more in the bottom of the inning after a leadoff homer from Bostyn Rowlett and an RBI single from Lola Pantoja a few at-bats later to further extend their lead. They’d add their final two runs in the sixth inning, one from an RBI single by Allen and the other from a bases-loaded walk by Maci Eckerty to make it a 9-4 game.

Springs Valley’s Bostyn Rowlett heads around the bases after a home run against Mitchell

After their strong start that led to four early runs, Mitchell struggled at the plate for much of the remainder of the game, only managing to get one runner on base until the seventh inning when Caitlyn Mullis hit a leadoff home run of her own to left field for the Bluejackets’ final run of the night.

Coleman took the loss for Mitchell, throwing the first two innings of the game, allowing three hits and 0 earned runs, striking out one. She was relieved by Southern in the third, who threw the remainder of the game, allowing seven hits and four earned runs with four strikeouts.

Karsyn Coleman at the mound for Mitchell against Springs Valley

Four Bluejackets finished with two hits for a team total of eight, those were Page Mullis, Caitlyn Mullis, Southern, and Russell.

Heading into Tuesday’s game, both Mitchell and Springs Valley sat in third place in the PLAC at 2-1, just one game behind West Washington (3-1) and conference leader Perry Central, who are 3-0.

Now, after the Blackhawks’ win over the Bluejackets, they sit at a PLAC record of 3-1, tying them with West Washington for second place, pushing Mitchell’s conference record to 2-2, tying them below with Orleans.

For the Bluejackets to win the PLAC, they would need to beat both Perry Central (May 11) and West Washington (May 8) in upcoming games, while also needing both teams, as well as Springs Valley, to lose an additional conference game to even them at two losses for a share of the crown.