Times Sports Editor
MARTINSVILLE -- The big bats of Northview once again proved to be too much for a sectional opponent to handle.
One night after putting together a 13-run inning in a blasting of Terre Haute South, the Knights strung together seven hits in a third inning that led to an eight-run outburst and a 13-6 win over Plainfield.
The victory sends the Knights into a sectional title game that the Knights' seniors have been waiting far too long to reach.
"These seniors want this bad," said coach Bethany Jones of her team's quest for a championship. "These seniors have been playing with heart and that's all you can ask for as a coach."
Seniors powered the charge past the Quakers.
the top of the second inning and adding two RBI doubles in the game.
"That was huge," said Jones of Sanders' home run to get the Knights' offense going. "That was her first of the year. Our seniors really stepped up and gave us confidence."
Not to be outdone, Lindsay Thomas had an RBI triple and Erica Conrad contributed two hits, including a double and an RBI single.
The Quakers made the pitching duo of Katie Smith and Shelby Colson sweat out a few tense innings as well, scoring in five of the seven innings. However, the Knights' defense got them out of a couple of jams and limited the Quakers' damage to a minimum.
Plainfield wasn't quite as lucky.
Tied at 1-all heading into the top of the third inning, No. 8 hitter Raven Enders drew a walk to start the frame and after Emily Phillips moved her over via a sacrifice bunt, Thomas blasted a triple to rightfield to give the Knights a lead.
The inning had begun innocently enough, but Northview was just getting warmed up.
Senior Kyler Clark was hit-by-pitch and Conrad sent a shallow single to right to bring home the third run of the game for the Knights.
Sanders, after going 3-for-4 the evening before, nailed a double to bring home Clark.
Clark's sister, Kaylee Clark followed with an RBI single herself and a single by Jessica LaTourette wrapped up Plainfield pitcher Dani Parrish's first stint in the circle.
Alli Holtsclaw came in to face Shelby Colson, who promptly sent a looping single to short rightfield for the Knights' fifth consecutive hit.
Clark came home on a wildpitch by Holtsclaw before Phillips dropped perfectly placed flyball that dropped on the edge of the outfield grass to score pinch-runner Ashlee Ball.
When the final dust had cleared on the inning, the Knights had extended their lead to 9-2 and seemed to be in a comfort zone.
The Quakers added a solo run in the bottom of the inning a single by Lauren Ratcliff and an RBI groundout.
Northview's hot streak at the plate wasn't over yet, extending into the fourth inning.
Conrad led off with a double blasted to centerfield and Sanders followed up with her fifth straight hit between two games. Sanders' third RBI of the game preceded an RBI single by LaTourette that brought back Parrish to finish the game in the circle.
Northview added its final run on a grounder to second base by Phillips that resulted in an over throw on a force out attempt at second.
Plainfield continued to stay in the game, scoring twice in the bottom of the inning to extend the game after the 10-run rule was averted.
The fourth inning could have provided more of a scare for the Knights as Plainfield loaded the bases with one out.
Kristin Paris worked deep into the count before sending a liner down the right field line that appeared to hit the chalk line. The umpire ruled the ball was foul and the Knights escaped with just a two-run dent.
Shelby Colson saw action in the circle through the second, third and fourth innings before giving way to Smith in the fifth inning.
Smith allowed a run in the fifth inning and gave up a bunt single by Parrish to lead off the sixth inning. She would steal second base, but was erased by LaTourette trying to steal second base.
Paris singled with two outs, but Enders made sure the Knights got out of the inning when she made her second big snag of a line drive in two games to end the threat.
"I think we've found Raven's spot," said Jones with a smile. "We've been working with her on her footwork. She's worked hard."
Smith earned the save in the seventh inning by striking out Mollie Johanningsmeier to end the game and propel the Knights to the title game.
The Knights will play either Mooresville or Martinsville this evening for the title at 6 p.m.
Class 4A Martinsville Sectional
2B -- Nv (Conrad, Sanders 2). HR -- Nv (Sanders). SB -- Nv (Phillips), PL (Ericksen, Parrish).
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