By ANDY MCCAMMON
The Northview softball Lady Knights' offense ground to a near halt against Terre Haute South pitcher Kelly Fougerousse Tuesday, recording a scant two hits (both in the first inning) and striking out eight times.
But all bets are off when Northview hurler Stephanie Jonson takes the mound.
The Lady Knights scored their only earned run in the first to grab an early lead, capitalized on a Fougerousse throwing error in the fourth for another tally and let their junior ace take it from there.
Northview would skate to a 2-0 victory behind Jonson, who struck out nine and matched her opponent's two-hit performance as the Lady Knights improved to 9-1 on the season.
For Jonson and a few other Northview players, the fact that they've shared a dugout with a number of Terre Haute South softballers (as summer-league teammates with Indiana Outkast) sweetened the victory-- and released a good deal of pressure.
"There were a lot fewer nerves," Jonson said after the game. "A lot of us have played with them before, and our whole team really wanted to win."
The Lady Knights certainly looked loose at the outset, as Jonson gave up a first-inning double to Outkast teammate Rachelle McCleary, but struck out two to end the threat.
Northview's bats rattled early as well, as Fougerousse (another Outkast alum) coughed up a lead-off single to Kayla Glassburn and Erica Conrad slapped a 2-2 pitch into short center for an RBI and the lead.
Jonson effectively silenced the Braves for the remainder of the game, fanning five of the six South batters who came to the plate in the second and third innings. After the McCleary double in the first, she retired 13 consecutive South hitters before surrendering a lead-off walk to Samantha Maners in the sixth.
The Lady Knights tallied their other run in the fourth. Traci Sanders reached on an error to lead off the inning, then scored from first base when Fougerousse picked up a routine grounder off the bat of Brittaney Searing and sailed the throw to first into foul territory.
-Junior Varsity Results
Northview's junior varsity also earned a victory over the Braves, downing South's second team 6-0.
The Lady Knights JV scored six runs on six hits while pitchers Katie Smith and Shelby Colson combined for the shutout.
The Braves gave up a five-run first inning, as multiple passed balls allowed multiple Lady Knights to cross the plate.
Morgan Keller led the way for Northview's offense with a single in each of her two at bats. Megan Keller, Brittaney Searing and Kirstin Kimball each added a hit for the Knights.
Northview returns to action Tuesday, when they take on Sullivan in the first of two JV/varsity double-headers played on consecutive nights.
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