Ridgeway throws no-hitter as Sullivan beats Mitchell 10-0 in sectional championship

By Noah Dalton

VINCENNES – Mitchell’s 23-24 season ended on Wednesday at the hands of Sullivan, who put them away in the 2A Sectional 47 championship game to claim the crown for the second consecutive year.

The Golden Arrows were victorious in shutout fashion, besting the Bluejackets 10-0, behind a dominant performance from senior pitcher Kate Ridgeway, who completed a no-hitter in the team’s five-inning win.

Ridgeway struck out 10 of the 16 batters she faced on the afternoon, missing a perfect game after walking one batter, Mitchell senior Page Mullis, in the first inning of play.

Kate Ridgeway throws a pitch against Mitchell

The Bluejackets found themselves in this championship matchup after a strong showing at the plate in their second-round matchup against North Knox, where they picked up nine hits and knocked home eight runs.

Mitchell head coach Christa Mullis said her team took the field against the Golden Arrows looking to be aggressive in hopes of producing similar results, but ultimately struggled to make the right reads from the batter’s box.

“I think a little bit of our problem is our girls, we have not the greatest pitch selection. So, we get antsy and we want to hit so bad that we swing at stuff we shouldn’t be swinging at, then we take stuff that we shouldn’t take. So, we just kind of put ourselves at a disadvantage sometimes, and I feel like we did that a little bit tonight,” she said. “We wanted so bad to come out here and hit like we did last night, and instead, we kind of flapped our tires a little bit.”

Sullivan jumped out to an early lead thanks to a three-run homer from Jaylynn Hobbs in the bottom of the first inning.

They got three more in the next inning, with Hobbs, Kate Ridgway and Aphtyn Earley all batting home runs.

Page Mullis swings during an at-bat against Sullivan

Mylee Vandevender joined in for the Golden Arrows in the third inning, slamming a base hit to left field to bring home the seventh run of the day for her team.

Mitchell managed to retire the side in order in the fourth but allowed three more runs in the bottom of the fifth on hits from Kate Alsman and Alexus Grindstaff, putting them up by double digits and triggering the 10-run mercy rule to end the game.

“They hit the ball really, really well. They’re a solid-hitting team,” Mullis said of Sullivan’s performance against them. “That’s something we’ve kind of struggled with up and down our lineup, is finding that right mix and finding where our bats are working and where they’re not and trying to adjust it. We didn’t adjust it quite right tonight, but they’re a good hitting team. I’m not trying to take away from what they’re doing. They’re an excellent team all the way around, their pitching, their defense.”

Though the result may not have been exactly what Mullis and the Bluejackets had hoped for, reaching the sectional championship and getting the chance to postseason experience is something that she feels will help her youthful roster, which features 10 underclassmen, in the future.

“This absolutely is good experience. We can only go up from here. I mean, they started out this year, my new group, and went to the sectional championship, we have nowhere to go but up,” she said. “Just keep plugging away. Keep working hard, and hopefully, we’ll do better next year. That’s the old college try.”

Natalee Nissley prepares for a pitch during an at-bat against Sullivan

Capping off her first season in charge of the program, Mullis thanked her team for their effort this season, something she says she was able to count on them bringing each and every night.

“I do believe they typically fight to the very end of the game. I didn’t see that quite tonight as much as I usually do, but typically these girls play and I don’t ever want them to lose that in anything they do in life,” she said. “Thank you to them really, because they’ve been going at this hard since the very first of December, most of them, not all of them, but most of them. And, I’m looking working with them again next year.”

With this loss, the Bluejackets finished the 2023-24 season with an overall record of 8-16, with a 3-3 record in the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference.

Sullivan will advance to battle North Posey (18-7) for the regional championship on Tuesday, May 28.