Missed opportunities and a couple of untimely mistakes cost Northview Knights a chance at a softball sweep of West Vigo on Wednesday night.
The Knights left 12 runners stranded and an error, an intentional walk and a wildpitch allowed the Vikings to score the winning run in a 2-1, 10-inning victory over Northview that gained the Vikings a split of the two-game series.
"We just weren't aggressive at the bat," commented coach Bethany Jones of her Knights. "We let some good pitches go by. It's just the story of the team right now. One night we're hitting and not getting any defense and the next we defend and pitch well and can't get any hits."
Coming off a 5-1 win over the Vikings on Tuesday, the Knights allowed a run in the second inning as West Vigo got a hit from Amanda Payne, who moved to second on a sacrifice from Brittney Paulin. Maegan Payne then drove her home with a single to centerfield to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead.
The Knights nearly evened the score in the bottom of the inning as Traci Sanders reached on a throwing error before Stephanie Jonson walked and Jennifer Gregg loaded the bases with an infield single. Kyler Clark then ripped a pitch down the first base line that Whitney Joy snared and doubled off Gregg at first.
On the mound, Jonson retired the next 16 consecutive batters for Northview while the Knights threatened against West Vigo.
"Our defense was great tonight and Stephanie (Jonson) pitched awesome tonight. We made six and four errors in the Jasper Tournament, but the defense played well tonight," commented Jones.
Northview would finally get on the board in the fifth inning as Gregg served a ball to leftfield with West Vigo playing the bunt. She would steal second to get herself in scoring position.
Clark then got a measure of revenge by beating out an infield single to second base that scooted past the pitcher. The throw was late to first and Gregg never slowed down on her way to the plate and beat the relay throw home to tie the score.
The Knights would threaten in nearly every remaining inning, including, loading the bases in the sixth inning as Chandra Burns singled to leftfield and Sanders reached on an error. Jonson then singled to load the bases with one out, but a bloop popout to short leftcenter resulted in a shoestring catch and a double play at third that ended the inning.
Northview stranded another pair of runners in the bottom of the ninth inning and West Vigo took advantage of it in the top of the 10th inning.
Jessica Daniel led off the inning by reaching on a throwing error and pinchrunner Thia Flinn was sacrificed to second base. Brittney Paulin fouled off nearly a dozen Jonson pitches before a wildpitch moved Flinn to third base. Jonson retired Paulin before the Knights intentionally walked Maegan Payne to get to pitcher, Kelsey Morris who had struckout in her only at-bat.
Morris squared to bunt, but Jonson's pitch went to the backstop allowing Flinn to score from third with the winning run.
"We've been working on our mentality," said Jones of her squad. "We've been trying to put pressure on the girls and build up their confidence for games like this. We're going to stay positive."
Despite picking up the loss, Jonson pitched a sterling game, allowing just four hits over 10 innings while striking out six and walking just one, intentionally.
The Knights (8-7 overall, 6-4 WIC) will play against Terre Haute South beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the Big Four Tournament.
SB -- Nv (Gregg, Thomas).
|Jonson (L 8-7)||10.0||2||4||1||6|
Northview 5, West Vigo 1
Jonson (W, 8-6) and Raderstorf; Morris (L, 4-2) and Daniel.