Times Sports Editor
A veteran lineup returns for the Northview softball team this season and the Knights are hoping to duplicate the success that their sectional running mate, Terre Haute North had last season.
The Patriots claimed the Class 4A Sectional title last year with a 2-0 win against Terre Haute South and continued winning all the way to the state championship game before falling to Hamilton Southeastern, 2-0, to complete a 27-9 season.
The Wabash Valley was especially successful, placing three teams in the four title games with Riverton Parke winning 1-0 in the Class A game and Linton dropping an 8-7 contest to Wheeler in the 2A championship.
Northview returns all but one player from their sectional starting lineup as starting second baseman Raven Enders graduated at the midterm.
"We do have everyone back except for Raven Enders. We've already seen a difference in just the mentality and the leadership that last year gave the younger girls," Northview head coach Bethany Jones said. "They've really stepped up in practice. Watching last night (at Martinsville), the seniors stepped up and were really leading this team. I think I can say that we're one step ahead, as far as the leadership and mentality is concerned."
Hopes run high that the Knights can improve on a 14-11 record as the team adds a year of experience.
"They had to step up and be those leaders last year," Jones said of her current senior class. "They are taking over the role well and they are excited. That one year has really helped everyone out.
"We're looking for a lot more consistency this year," Jones added. "We knew we could do it last year, but again, I think that experience should help us be more consistent at the plate," Jones said.
Sophomore Taylor Carter returns as the most experienced pitcher after registering a 6-5 mark with a 2.55 ERA. Carter struck out 72 over 77 innings of work. Junior Sarah Phillips posted a 3.93 ERA in 57 innings with a 4-3 record.
"Sarah (Phillips) has gotten a lot stronger and has really improved her game all-around. We're hoping to use her a little bit more this year and maybe get her and Taylor in a rotation," Jones said.
Three freshmen got significant playing time last year along with a couple of sophomores and Jones believes that the experience was invaluable to what they bring to this year's squad.
"(Last year experience was evident) especially in the sophomores that are now juniors, Hope (Torbert) got her freshman year under her belt and I've already seen some good things from her after just that one year of experience," Jones said. "Taylor (Carter) has gotten a lot stronger and a lot smarter with her pitching and being able to mix it up some. One year makes a huge difference."
Carter also was one of the team's top hitters with a .410 average with 23 RBI and 10 doubles to her credit. She'll also see time at shortstop for the Knights and provide a presence in the middle of the lineup.
Ashley Hughes, a sophomore, takes over at second base for the Knights.
Torbert returns for her sophomore season after hitting .280 and driving in 11 runs and should see time in the outfield and the designated hitter spot. Junior Alyssa Conrad returns after leading off most of the season for the Knights. She hit a robust .398 and will start at shortstop for Northview.
Senior Jessica LaTourette hit .269 last year and returns at the catcher position and her classmate, Lauren Webster, will start at first base after hitting .218 while driving in nine runs.
Nicole Nelson and Ashlee Ball are both seniors and return in the outfield as Nelson hit .250 with 12 runs scored and Ball scored four times for the Knights. At third base will be Kylie McKee as she hit .247 and scored 13 times while driving in 13 runs. Joining the team this season will be sophomore Haven Eder.
"We do have a newcomer in Haven Eder, who can step in and give us some good at-bats, but everything else is pretty much the same," Jones said of the roster.
Jones also pointed out that seeing one of their sectional foes making a long postseason run provides her team with extra incentive.
"We talked about that this year, we beat Terre Haute North twice last year and to see that team go to the state championship game, we told the girls that they are right there," Jones said. "We told the girls to just go on the field and play with no regrets. I think we can be pretty successful this year."
Northview High School Girls Varsity Softball
|Tue. 4/5||at Martinsville||5 p.m.|
|Thur. 4/7||vs Linton--Stockton||5 p.m.|
|Mon. 4/11||vs Bloomington South||6 p.m.|
|Tue. 4/12||vs Clay City Jr/Sr.||4:30 p.m.|
|Thur. 4/14||at Shakamak Jr/Sr.||5 p.m.|
|Fri. 4/15||at Jasper Invitational||TBA|
|Sat. 4/16||at Jasper Invitational||TBA|
|Mon. 4/18||vs Plainfield||5 p.m.|
|Tue. 4/19||at Sullivan||5 p.m.|
|Thur. 4/21||at Terre Haute South||5 p.m.|
|Tue. 4/26||vs Brown County||6 p.m.|
|Thur. 4/28||at Mooresville||5 p.m.|
|Tue. 5/3||at West Vigo||5 p.m.|
|Thur 5/5||at Bloomington North||5 p.m.|
|Fri. 5/6||vs Edgewood||5 p.m.|
|Sat. 5/7||at Big Four Tourney||10 a.m.|
|Mon. 5/9||at Riverton Parke Jr/Sr.||5 p.m.|
|Tue 5/10||vs South Vermillion||5 p.m.|
|Wed. 5/11||vs North Central||5 p.m.|
|Fri. 5/13||at Owen Valley||5 p.m.|
|Sat. 5/14||vs Turkey Run Jr/Sr.||10 a.m.|
|Tue. 5/17||at Terre Haute North Vigo||5 p.m.|
|Sat. 5/21||at Boonville Tourney -- Varsity||10 a.m.|
|Mon. 5/23||at Sectional Week||TBA|
|Tue. 5/24||at Sectional Week||TBA|
|Wed. 5/25||at Sectional Week||TBA|
|Thur. 5/26||at Sectional Week||TBA|
|Tue. 5/31||at IHSAA Regional||TBA|
|Sat. 6/4||at IHSAA Semi-State||TBA|
|Sat. 6/11||at IHSAA Semi-State||TBA|