(Middle) . . .to bring home Jonson with the winning run. . .
(Bottom) . . .and a 1-0 win for the Knights
Coming off an important conference victory over West Vigo on Wednesday night and looking at a pair of games against rival Terre Haute North and South on Saturday, it might have been easy for Northview to overlook visiting Bloomington North.
The Cougars and Knights went toe-to-toe for six and a half innings of tense, pitching and defensive oriented softball before Northview broke through in the bottom of the seventh inning for a 1-0 victory.
"We stayed focused tonight," said coach Bethany Jones of her squad. "The last two years we've lost to this team, it was good for us to come back after (Wednesday's win) and to not fall down and lose our focus."
The Knights stayed on top of their game despite numerous situations in which the Cougars seemed on the verge of scoring.
In four consecutive innings (fourth through the seventh), the Cougars placed their leadoff hitter on in the inning, and two different times Bloomington had runners on first and third with one out or less. But Jonson and the Northview defense bore down to get out of the jams.
In the fourth frame, Whitney Sexton reached on a single to rightfield and moved to third on a bloop single to rightfield, but Jonson struckout Lori Whitaker and then coaxed a groundout of Danielle Hobbs to end the threat.
The fifth saw the Cougars get a leadoff single from Megan Mishler and another base hit from Carlie Joraanstad sandwiched around a strikeout for the first out. The Knights got out of the inning on a popout and a groundout to keep the game scoreless.
The sixth and seventh innings were much the same for the Cougars who were left scratching their heads as Jonson got out of each jam backed by her solid defense.
"I don't know how many errors we made over the weekend (in the Jasper Tourney), but we made the plays we needed tonight. I think it was a confidence builder for Stephanie (Jonson) and that helped our confidence at the plate."
In fact Jones' comments seemed completely correct beginning the bottom of the seventh inning as Jonson opened the frame by drilling a triple down the rightfield line.
Sky Singleton then came to bat for the Knights in a crucial situation with the game on the line and came through with flying colors.
Singleton singled sharply to the right side of the infield and Jonson scampered home for the lone run of the contest, and most importantly, the winning tally.
"About the fourth inning or so I thought it was probably going to come down to one big hit, I just hoped it was going to come from us," said Jones. "We were hitting the ball solidly, but Sky (Singleton) finally found a hole in the infield for (the winning hit)."
Jonson went seven shutout innings for the Knights, allowing six hits by the Cougars while striking out five batters as Northview improved to 15-4 this year.
Up next for the Knights is a 10 a.m. contest to open the Big Four Tourney at Terre Haute South.
In the JV game, the Knights powered their way to a 10-0 win in five innings over Bloomington North. The win improves Northview to 11-2 overall.
Katie Smith got the five inning, one hit victory with seven strikeouts and also added a hit in the game.
Bailey Short had a single and a double at the plate with Jonna Raderstorf drilling a double, Erica Lee and Morgan Keller each singled as well.
Northview 1, Bloomington North 0
3B -- Nv (Jonson).