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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Knights slam Pioneers in sectional

Thursday, May 27, 2010

(Photo)
Kodie Girton threw four shutout innings, allowing just two hits while striking out eight in the Knights, 13-0 win over Mooresville on Thursday.
By CAREY FOX

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."

(Photo)
Andrew Butts rockets a double to centerfield as part of a 3-for-4 night with two RBI against Mooresville in sectional play.
Andrew Butts started the game off in style, rocketing the first pitch he saw from Mooresville's Nick Perry for a double to centerfield and moved to third on a passed ball. Girton followed with a walk and stole second base and Butts came home on a wild pitch. Zac Niehaus stepped to the plate and smacked an RBI single up the middle and later stole second. Caleb Mason added to the outburst by drawing a walk from Perry and Zach Hull reached base on an error on a sharply hit ball to shortstop that was misplayed for an error. With the bases loaded, Joey Thomas followed with a two-run single, Jordan Allen added a sacrifice fly that scored Seth Lunsford and moved to second on a throwing error before Butts followed with his second double of the inning. Butts' extra base hit drove in two runs and the Knights were comfortably ahead 7-0 after the first frame.

"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

Northview72004-13130
Mooresville00000-023

2B -- Nv (Butts 2, Niehaus, Allen). 3B -- Nv (Hull). SB -- Nv (Niehaus, Thomas).

Pitching

MooresvilleIPRHBBK
Perry (L)1.07520
LeBlanc4.06823
NorthviewIPRHBBK
Girton (W)4.00208
Jeffries1.00002

Next game: Northview (23-5 overall) faces Terre Haute South at 10 a.m. on Monday.