Olivia Kumpf rounds third on the way to scoring for the Knights against West Vigo.
Tuesday's matchup with West Vigo is certainly not how Northview fans envisioned the beginning of the Big Four tourney as well as a key WIC matchup taking place.
Standout pitcher Stephanie Jonson was uncharacteristically wild in the first inning (three walks, two wild pitches) and the defense was shaky (3-run error and a passed ball). The Knights just couldn't recover in taking a 7-5 loss to West Vigo.
Jonson walked the leadoff batter before striking out the second Viking batter. Ashley Stephens then drew a second walk and both runners advanced on a passed ball before a wild pitch scored a run. Another walk, a strikeout and a hit batter loaded the bases with two outs. Kate Kesler then lined a shot to rightfield that Sky Singleton lost, clearing the bases and giving the Vikings a 4-0 lead. Another wild pitch would score the fifth run before Shelby Colson came in to relieve Jonson on the mound.
"We came out that first inning and gave up five unearned runs," said coach Bethany Jones. "Stephanie didn't play her game, and a couple of errors and the team lost their confidence."
Colson would keep the Vikings scoreless through the next three innings while Northview bounced back to score two runs in their half of the second inning on hits from Kayla Raderstorf and Traci Sanders.
Sanders' single would score pinchrunner Megan Keller. Kyler Clark struckout, but reached first after the ball got away, scoring Sanders from third.
The Vikings would add a key run in the fifth on a walk and a run scoring single before Northview made another run spurred by West Vigo mistakes.
Erica Conrad walked and pinchrunner Olivia Kumpf would go from first to third on a grounder by Kayla Raderstorf. The throw to first sailed high for an error, scoring Kumpf to narrow the gap to 6-3. Sanders would follow with a grounder that was misplayed, scoring pinchrunner Megan Keller to get Northview within 6-4.
More Northview miscues led to another run for West Vigo as an infield single and a sacrifice bunt put West Vigo's pitcher on second. A sharp single to rightfield by Van Cleave was bobbled allowing Morris to score all the way from second for a 7-4 West Vigo lead.
The extra run would prove to be key when the Knights rallied on a single by Kyler Clark, who moved to second on an error by the rightfielder. Lindsay Thomas struckout, but reached first when the ball got away from catcher Jessica Daniel, scoring Clark from second. A key play was made by the Vikings who were able to catch Thomas stealing for the inning's second out. The baserunning error was even more key when leadoff hitter Kayla Glassburn tripled to centerfield. What would have scored a run and put the tying run on third with one out, ended up being a moot point when Jennifer Gregg grounded into the third out.
"I'm anxious to see how the team reacts tomorrow," said Jones discussing how the Knights would react for the back half of the doubleheader. "I think with the team we have that we'll see what we're made of."
The Knights are now 13-4 overall, 7-1 in the WIC while West Vigo improves to 10-5 overall and 3-2 in the WIC.
West Vigo 7, Northview 5
3B -- Nv (Glassburn).