Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE -- Northview was able to claim a Western Indiana Conference victory on the road against West Vigo on Tuesday night that counted towards the Big Four Tourney that re-convenes on Saturday.
The effort was far from the Knights' sharpest of the season, as they committed five errors, but were able to escape with a 7-5 victory against the Vikings to improve to 3-0 in the WIC and 10-1 overall.
"We did not play our game," Northview coach Bethany Jones said. "When you look at it, we had five errors on defense and 14 fly balls. I told the girls in the beginning that we have to come out and play our game. West Vigo is going to be after us, it's always a rival game, and it's for conference and Big Four. So if we go out and play (West Vigo's) game, that's what is going to happen."
The Knights got on the board first against the Vikings as Alyssa Conrad led off with an infield single and Ashley Hughes moved her over with a bunt before Taylor Carter smacked an RBI double.
Errors cost Northview the lead in the Vikings' half of the inning as a lead off double by Alicyn Woodward and an errant throw back in to second base left the West Vigo speedster on third. A second error on a misplayed flyball to leftfield allowed Woodward to score and tie the game.
The Knights regained the advantage with a single run in the third inning on a walk by Conrad, a bloop single by Jessica LaTourette and an RBI single by Hope Torbert. However, Conrad gave the Knights some insurance when she brought home Haven Eder with a two-run home run to centerfield.
Suddenly with a 4-1 lead, the Knights appeared poised to pull away to an easy win, but defensive miscues cost them their three-run cushion.
Leslee Walters led off the fifth inning with a single to centerfield and she advanced to second when the throw back to the infield scooted all the way back through the infield. Taylor Otte followed with a bunt that was bobbled for a second error and Kenzie Little singled to bring home Walters. Woodward followed with an RBI single to get West Vigo within 4-3.
"When we make defensive errors like we did, (West Vigo) executed on them and got runs on the board. It's frustrating right now," Jones said.
In the sixth inning, the Knights capitalized on some of West Vigo's own mistakes.
West Vigo pitcher, Sam Elkins, recorded the first two outs of the inning and then struckout Nicole Nelson, but the ball got away and Nelson reached first safely. The Knights made the mistake a costly one as Nelson stole second and Conrad drove her home with her third hit of the game. An error on the play allowed Conrad to scamper all the way to third. Hughes followed with an RBI single for a 6-3 lead. Carter's second RBI double of the game pushed the lead to 7-3.
Northview apparently couldn't stand the success as a single by Jacy McClain started the sixth inning for West Vigo. Carter, who picked up her 10th win of the season in the circle, got the first two outs of the inning, but a walk to Elkins and an error put McClain in scoring position. Walters followed with an RBI infield single and Otte followed with another run scoring base hit to close the gap to 7-5.
However, Carter was able to finish the game by setting down the Vikings in order in the seventh inning.
The victory sets up a big meeting on Friday between teams with unbeaten conference marks. Edgewood comes in with an overall 14-4 mark and a 3-0 WIC record and the Knights are now 10-1 overall and also sports a 3-0 WIC mark. The game will take place at home beginning at 5 p.m.
"Edgewood on Friday night at our place, we have to play our game, Edgewood is always tough and it's going to be a battle. We have two days to fix our mental game and fix our physical game and figure out what we're going to do."
At West Vigo
2B -- Nv (Carter 2, Torbert), WV (Woodward). HR -- Nv (Conrad). SB -- Nv (Conrad), WV (Woodward).
|Carter (W, 9-1)||7.0||5||7||2||8|