Times Sports Editor
Northview's softball team proved the adage that patience is a virtue on Thursday night, drawing 12 walks and getting timely hits on the way to a 15-5 victory over Shakamak in five innings.
The Knights took full advantage of Lakers starting pitcher, Mikayla Crane's early wildness, drawing four walks each in the first and second innings, which fueled an eight-run outburst for Northview.
"We were a lot more focused at the plate and everyone hit tonight," Northview coach Bethany Jones said. "That's what we've been working on and we knew they (could hit), it was just a matter of putting it all together. I think in two innings we left three (runners) on and another inning we left two on and I didn't like that, but we're getting there."
While the Knights did leave some runners stranded, they also brought plenty more in to cross the plate.
After the Lakers scored a run in the first inning off a Knights' error, Northview came right back in its own half of the frame.
Hope Torbert and Raven Enders led off the inning with walks to set the stage as Alyssa Conrad sacrificed the runners into scoring position. Jessica LaTourette walked to load the bases and Taylor Carter brought the first Knights' runner in by patiently drawing her own walk. Kylie McKee smacked a two-run single to bring home Enders and pinch runner, Ashley Hughes for a 3-1 Knights' lead. Sarah Phillips followed with a two-out single and Nicole Nelson lined a two-run single to centerfield to push the lead to 5-1.
Northview added another three runs in the second inning as Crane loaded the bases with three straight walks to open the frame. Enders, Conrad and LaTourette reached on the free passes to set up Carter for an RBI single. Lauren Webster then hit a fielders' choice grounder, but the throw to the plate for the force play was wide and everyone was safe. Phillips forced in another run when she drew a bases loaded walk for an 8-1 lead.
The Lakers began to chip away at the Knights' lead by showing a bit of their own patience against Northview's Conrad, who was in the circle.
Lacey Gilbert led off with a single and both Amber Chesterfield and Kristi Pearson walked to load the bases. Conrad got Crane to strikeout, but the pitch was in the dirt allowing Gilbert to score. Lacy Ashcraft brought home another run with a single, which brought an end to Conrad's pitching night. Sarah Phillips came in to relieve and was able to get Jazmine Martin to groundout to end the threat.
After the Knights added another run in the fourth inning for a 9-3 lead, the Lakers tallied two more runs in the fourth inning on an RBI single by Chesterfield and an RBI groundout by Casey Fougerousse.
With the Lakers closing the gap, the Knights came up in the bottom of the fifth and provided the finishing blows.
McKee doubled to start the rally with one out, Webster drew a walk and Phillips ripped an RBI single. Webster was gunned out at third base for the second out of the inning, but the Knights weren't through.
Nicole Nelson singled, Torbert hit an RBI single followed by a looping base hit by Enders to bring Nelson home. Conrad singled to drive in Torbert, LaTourette walked to load the bases again and Carter fittingly brought in the final run with a walk to score Enders to invoke the 10-run rule.
In the game, Phillips had three hits and drove in two runs, McKee had a pair of hits and Carter reached base four times and had an RBI each time. Conrad was on base three times, Enders was on four times, Latourette walked three times and Torbert reached base three times as well.
Northview (3-2 overall) is at Plainfield on Monday night at 5 p.m.
2B -- Nv (McKee). SB -- Nv (Enders), SH (Fougerousse).