Pitching and defense will win a lot of ball games. Evidently the Northview softball team has quite a bit of both. When you add those plus some clutch hitting you get a 2-0 record like the Knights who finished off a sweep of the Owen Valley Patriots with a 3-0 win on Wednesday evening. The shutout came on the heels of a 7-0 win the Knights recorded over the Patriots on the road Tuesday evening.
Senior pitcher Denae Whittington got both shutout wins in front of some solid defense and big hits.
"This is really big for our confidence," said coach Jason Wise after the game. "We're still a young team and to come out of the gate and get two conference wins is big."
Through five innings Owen Valley hurler Tonya Ross matched zeros with Whittington and had given up just four hits, two of them to freshman leadoff hitter Kayla Glassburn. However it was a walk that began a three-run break through for the Knights in the sixth inning.
Chandra Burns was the recipient of that walk and she was moved over to second when senior Millie Carr rapped a single.
Elise Sterrett came through with a clutch sacrifice bunt that moved both runners into scoring position and Erin Brackney drove home the first run with a big sacrifice fly to bring home Burns.
After a strikeout registered the second out of the inning, pinch-hitter Jayme Choate came through with a huge insurance hit when she drilled a single to short centerfield that brought home both Carr and pinch-runner Casey Challandes to put the Knights up 3-0.
The rest was left up to Whittington who closed the door on the Patriots in the seventh inning.
"Jayme is such a great kid and works so hard for us," commented Wise afterwards. "I told her at the beginning of the year that her role was going to be just to hit for us and she came up in a clutch situation with a big hit. Our role players are really important for us."
Whittington mowed down the Patriots for the second straight night after limiting them to just three hits in a complete game shutout on Tuesday night.
In Wednesday's home opener she again gave up only three hits while walking just one batter and striking out five batters. "She's done an outstanding job for us so far," said Wise. "She only walked one tonight and our defense has been really solid behind her."
The victory moves the Knight's early season record to 2-0 overall and 2-0 in the Western Indiana Conference. Northview will travel to Martinsville on Friday evening for a 5 p.m. game.
In Tuesday's road win over Owen Valley the Knights scored six runs over the final three innings as Whittington shutout the Patriots.
Kayla Glassburn had a pair of hits including a double and Chandra Burns went a perfect three-for-three with a double. But Natalie Shoemaker was the offensive star with two hits, including a double, and four RBI's.
Northview 3, Owen Valley 0
|Northview (3)||Owen Valley (0)|
SB -- Owen Valley 1 (Truax), Northview 1 (Glassburn). Sac fly -- Northview (Brackney).
|Whittington W (2-0)||7.0||3||0||1||5|