Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE -- When it comes around to Christmas time later this year, it's safe to say that Northview sophomore, Kodie Girton, shouldn't expect any holiday cards from the Mooresville baseball team.
Girton, facing the Pioneers for the second time this season on Thursday night, hurled four shutout innings with eight strikeouts while allowing just two hits. Meanwhile, Northview plowed through Mooresville into the sectional semifinals with a 13-0 victory.
It was the second time that Girton has shutdown the Pioneers and likely had coaches and players from Mooresville shaking their heads once again.
"He's pitched really well the last three or four outings," Northview coach Scott McDonald said of his lefthander. "(Mooresville) is having nightmares about him. He's thrown twice against them and thrown 11 shutout innings. He had great command of his changeup tonight, which is really important for him to be able to set up his fastball."
What also helped Girton's cause was a seven-run first inning by the Knights that made things much easier for the Northview defense on the field.
"Seven runs in the first inning makes your pitching awfully good," joked McDonald. "We worked hard the last two days getting ready for the tournament, working on going the other way and tonight we put great swings on the ball all night."
"We hit the ball really well Tuesday night (a 19-1 win over Greencastle) and I bet we hit for three hours yesterday in practice," McDonald said. "I'll tell you, Andrew Butts was phenomenal tonight, he jumpstarted us in that first at-bat and set the tone the rest of the night. Everybody else kind of fed off his energy."
The Knights added two more runs in the second inning on an infield single by Niehaus and an RBI triple by Hull before Lunsford brought him home with an RBI flyout.
Meanwhile, Girton was dominating, striking out the first four batters he faced and allowed just one base runner through the first three innings.
Girton got into a bit of a jam in the bottom of the fourth inning as Girton allowed a one-out single by Perry and Conor Brown drew a walk. Girton hit Nic Barker to load the bases, but Girton struck out Austin Malicote and got Derek Johnson to groundout to shortstop, TJ Decker, to end the threat.
Mooresville's Nick LeBlanc came in to start the second inning and allowed the two runs in the second inning, but kept the Knights off the board again until the fifth inning.
Allen led off the inning with a double and Butts reached on an error before Girton blooped an RBI single into centerfield to score pinch-runner, Tyler Trout. Zac Niehaus added a ringing double to score two runs and a wildpitch later brought him in with the 13th run of the game.
JT Jeffries came in to close the door in the bottom of the fifth inning, striking out two Pioneers to end the 10-run rule shortened contest.
"The preparation we had coming in to tonight was really good so we've got two days to get ready for a machine," McDonald said in reference to Terre Haute South.
The Braves were a 15-0 winner in five innings over Martinsville. The Knights and Braves square off at Terre Haute North High School at 10 a.m. on Monday.
Class 4A T.H. North Sectional
2B -- Nv (Butts 2, Niehaus, Allen). 3B -- Nv (Hull). SB -- Nv (Niehaus, Thomas).
Next game: Northview (23-5 overall) faces Terre Haute South at 10 a.m. on Monday.