(Top) Northview's Megan Keller slides under the tag for the game-winning run for the Knights who beat the Artesians 7-6, setting off a celebration amongst the Knights (bottom).
- Northview ends Artesians' 19-game winning streak -
Almost a year to the day, Northview and Martinsville squared off in a battle that went 11 scoreless innings before being called a 0-0 tie due to darkness on the Artesians' field.
From there, Martinsville put together 25 victories against just one loss on the way to a 4A state championship. For 364 days, most of Northview's players have been waiting for a chance to finish what they felt they had started back then.
With seven of their nine starters returning, including both pitchers, the Artesians retained the sizable targets on their back as the preseason No. 1 ranked team.
On Friday night, Mother Nature cleared the clouds and brought out the sunshine to light the Knights way to a bit of revenge.
Sophomore Kyler Clark hit a bases loaded, one out sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the seventh inning that scored Megan Keller from third as Northview took a 7-6 victory against the Artesians.
"Kyler really got the job done with her sacrifice," said coach Bethany Jones. "All the girls did their jobs tonight, this is a game they've been waiting for since we played it last year."
The Artesians got on the board first in the third inning as Alaina Zloty walked with one out and Jessica Breeden hit a looping ball deep into the shortstop hole that found the ground for a hit. Abby Calloway followed with a walk that loaded the bases.
Northview pitcher Stephanie Jonson was able to bear down and coaxed a grounder to third base from Elizabeth Gwaltney. The throw home was bobbled, allowing the first run to score for the Artesians. From there however, Jonson struckout Mikala Trimble for the second out and got Logan Lucas to groundout to end the threat.
The Knights came roaring back in their half of the third inning aided by a bit of shaky Martinsville defense.
With one out, Kayla Glassburn continued to set the table for the offense with her second of four hits in the game. Senior second baseman Jennifer Gregg followed with a hopper to third base that was bobbled just enough for both runners to reach safely. Erica Conrad then brought home Glassburn with her chopper to shortstop that wasn't handled cleanly.
With the score tied, Kayla Raderstorf flew out for the second out of the inning, but sophomore rightfielder Traci Sanders drew a walk.
Up to the plate stepped Jonson, who helped her own cause by ripping a single to centerfield to score Gregg and sending Conrad to third. She would score the third run of the game, coming home on a wildpitch from Lynn Zloty who was unbeaten last season (18-0, 0.29 ERA).
Leading 3-0, Brittaney Searing stepped up and whacked a shot to the fence that brought two more runs home and gave the Knights 5-0.
"We came out a little nervous in the first inning and bobbled a bit, but once we started hitting off their pitcher, (Zloty) is a good pitcher, we gained some confidence and kept our focus," said Jones.
The Artesians won a state title for a reason last year.
Martinsville kept their composure and struck in the fifth inning for three runs on a leadoff double by Breeden, a single from Calloway and a two-run double by Gwaltney. Lucas blooped a single that scored a run to narrow the gap to 5-4, but Jonson struckout Trimble and Melissa Daniels to end the frame.
Northview got a key insurance run in their half of the sixth inning as Glassburn smacked a two out single and moved to second on a wildpitch from new pitcher Abby Calloway.
Gregg came to bat and chopped a one hop single up the middle that brought home Glassburn to make the score 6-4.
Martinsville came to bat in the final frame and quickly started to threaten.
Breeden reached base for the third time to open the inning and Jonson hit Calloway with a pitch to put both on with no outs. But Jonson bore down and got a groundout from Gwaltney and then struckout the Artesians cleanup hitter, Trimble, for the third time in the game.
With two outs, Lucas hit a two run single that tied the game. She was thrown out at second for the final out of the inning.
"I was curious to see how we would respond when they tied the game," said Jones afterwards.
She would be presently surprised.
Kayla Raderstorf opened the inning with a short single to rightfield and Keller came on to pinchrun.
Sanders put down a stellar bunt and Keller beat the attempted force play at second base as both runners were safe. After Jonson grounded out, advancing both runners into scoring position, Searing reached via walk to load the bases, setting the stage for Clark.
Coming into the at-bat 0-for-3, Clark put it all behind her and simply did what the team needed, make solid contact.
Clark's flyball to rightfield was caught, but Keller tagged at third base and set off in hot pursuit of the winning score. The throw home was on target, but Keller was a step ahead, sliding underneath the tag for a 7-6 victory.
"I'm so proud of these girls," commented a smiling Jones. "Yesterday we had a rough practice, but tonight we stayed and focus. We worked together and won. I'm anxious to see where we can go from here."
The Knights (2-0 overall, 1-0 WIC) will play at Bloomington South on Monday evening at 5:45 p.m.
In the JV game, Shelby Colson hit a 3-run home run for the Knights and Jonna Raderstorf added a double and two singles, but Martinsville pulled off a 5-3 win over Northview. Misty Rissler also singed for Northview.
Northview 7, Martinsville 6
2B -- Nv (Searing), Mv (Gwaltney, Breeden).
|Jonson W (2-0)||7.0||6||8||2||9|
|Calloway L (0-1)||2.0||2||3||1||1|