By STEVE FIELDS
For the Brazil Times
The Northview Knights have struggled with slow starts all season. They have managed to come from behind to win a few of those games. But Tuesday night they were out of the game before coming to the plate.
The Class 3A No.10-ranked West Vigo Vikings sent 14 batters to the plate, pounded out eight hits and took advantage of the Knights' three errors to take a 12-0 lead in the first inning.
West Vigo went on to win the conference game 14-0.
"We weren't ready to play. We weren't mentally in the game."
"That's been a problem for us all year. We get behind early and it just takes us right out of our game. We can't run, we can't bunt. We can't do any of the things we want to do because we're so far behind early on,"?Northview coach Gary Witham said.
West Vigo hit the ball over, around and through Northview.
West Vigo's Drew Aff hit two triples over the Northview outfielders to the left and right-center field fences and Cameron Fagg belted another to the right-center field fence. In addition to the three errors, the Knights were hurt by two bad-hop singles.
"They hit our pitching hard. Our pitching would be pretty good if our defense plays well behind it. But when our defense doesn't play well, our pitching is not going to be that good,"? Witham said.
Northview's defense has been suspect all season, which has put the pitching staff at risk. But now the Knights' bats have gone silent.
The Knights managed just four singles off three Viking pitchers. Kyle Pestoff accounted for half of the Knights' offense with two singles.
Nick Lancaster and Andrew Butts each had one base hit.
"Now our hitting has disappeared. That's 12 innings in a row we've been shut out. We've never had two shutout games back to back.
There have been years where we haven't been shut out the entire year," Witham said.
Northview will try to bounce back Friday night in a WIC game at Edgewood and will host the Big 4 Tournament on Saturday.
LOB - WV 5 Nv 7. 3B - Aff 2, Fagg. 2B - West 2, Fagg. SH - Pearson. SB - None. CS - None.
WP - Lawson 2. PB - Robertson. HBP - by Wampler (Lancaster), by Roberts.
Next game - Northview (7-12, 1-3 in WIC) travels to Edgewood on Friday.