By Steve Fields
For the Brazil Times
With the first-game jitters behind them, the Northview Knights earned their first victory of the high school fast-pitch softball season and evened their Western Indiana Conference all at the same time Wednesday night.
Led by the battery of Stephanie Jonson and Kayla Harlan, the Knights overpowered the visiting Owen Valley Patriots 6-2. Those same Patriots blanked the Knights 3-0 on Tuesday.
"Totally different teams showed up," first-year Northview coach Bethany Jones said, comparing the two performances.
"We talked about mental preparation before the game. We had worked on our hitting (in pre-game), too. That's something we didn't do (Tuesday at Owen Valley)."
Northview led from start to finish, connecting for seven hits to take advantage of four Owen Valley errors and five base on balls.
Jonson pitched a complete-game two-hitter to earn the win. The sophomore righthander did not allow an earned run, struck out six and walked one batter.
"It felt a lot better (than Tuesday night). I thought we defended really well (Tuesday) night, but we didn't hit well. We hit a lot better tonight," Jonson said.
Jones said Jonson's control was better than the first game. "She's hitting her spots more. That riseball is really working for her. She was so much more accurate," the coach said.
In addition to pitching a complete game two-hitter, Jonson had two hits, scored two runs and drove in another. And Harlan, the catcher, had two hits and two RBI.
"This is the team we knew we had," Jones said.
Northview never trailed, scoring three runs in the first inning. Kayla Glassburn and Jennifer Gregg started the rally with back-to-back singles. Glassburn scored on an OV throwing error and Gregg moved around to third on the error.
Casey Challandes received a walk and took second uncontested. Gregg scored on Harlan's ground ball to the right side of the infield and Challandes scored on Chandra Burns' grounder to shortstop.
Johnson and Harlan made it 4-0 in the third inning. Harlan singled with one out. Kelsey Glassburn, running for Harlan, stole second, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Jonson.
OV scored two runs on two hits and two Northview errors in the fourth inning, but the Knights answered the challenge with single runs in the fifth and sixth innings.
Challandes led off the fifth with a walk and scored on a single by Harlan. In the sixth, Kayla Glassburn reached base on an OV error and scored on a single by Challandes.
Northview 6, Owen Valley 2
Lucas S. Terrell (5) and Truax; Jonson and Harlan. W -- Jonson. L -- Lucas. LOB -- OV 2, N 7.
Next game -- Northview (1-1, 1-1 in WIC) plays at Martinsville on Friday.