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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Knights looking to take next step

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Senior Alyssa Conrad was second on the team with a .458 average and scored 33 times to lead the Knights. [Order this photo]

Times Sports Editor

The Northview softball program has been one of the area's best over the last several years and the Knights are planning on continuing that success in 2012.

The Knights won 20 games last year and return much of that nucleus to make a run at another Western Indiana Conference title and to claim a postseason title in a tough sectional field.

Four of Northview's seven losses last year came to either Terre Haute North or South and when a defeat to North Central (Farmersburg) is added, it's plain to see that the Wabash Valley contains a wealth of talent. Terre Haute North is the defending sectional champion and a team that the Knights went 1-2 against last year, including a 4-3 sectional championship game loss.

Coach Bethany Jones feels that the Knights have continued to improve over the offseason and are prepared to change its postseason fate of 2011.

"The team has learned a lot since our last game in the sectional championship. Working on the mental game has helped the team become more confident," Jones said. "We have also focused on our hitting and our pitchers have been working hard as well."

Returning to the lineup is the team's top hitter and pitcher from last year as junior Taylor Carter anchors the offense after blistering opposing hurlers to the tune of a .521 average, 42 RBIs and 17 extra base hits. She slugged .750 for the Knights and scored 17 times. Carter, a verbal commit to East Tennessee State, was 17-5-1 in the circle with a 1.20 ERA and 181 strikeouts in 134 innings. She also walked just 27 while allowing only 72 hits overall.

Jones feels that her team's defense and pitching will each be strengths this season and has seen improvements offensively as well.

Centerfielder Hope Torbert robs a home run during sectional play last year and returns to anchor the outfield defense. [Order this photo]
"I have also seen improvement in our offensive game as we continue to work on it," Jones said. "The coaches have implemented strategies we will use when teams try to pitch around Taylor this year."

Carter will have plenty of returning talent around her in the lineup as shortstop Alyssa Conrad returns after hitting .458 at the top of the lineup and scoring a team-high 33 times and driving in 19 runs.

Taylor's biggest improvement is the confidence she has gained in her pitching. She has also developed two more pitches since last year that will give her ball more movement. Carter will also get a break in the circle as freshman Whitney Halfhill and sophomore Jensen Swaim will get a chance to prove themselves.

Senior Kylie McKee returns at third base for the Knights this season. [Order this photo]
On defense, Carter is joined up the middle by junior Ashley Hughes, who moves from second base to catcher this season. Hughes hit .338 with 23 runs scored and 10 RBI's. Also in the infield, Melissa Lummis could see some time playing first base for the Knights.

Replacing Hughes at second base will likely be freshman Tori Tilley.

Freshmen will play some key roles this year for the Knights as Whitney Halfhill, Madison Nevins and Tilley are expected to fill varsity roles.

"We have a good freshmen class this year that works hard and brings a lot of tenacity to the team," Jones said.

Halfhill will likely take over in rightfield and see some time in the circle as well and Nevins could split time at second base along with Tilley.

Senior Kylie McKee returns at third base and hit .254 with 14 runs scored and 14 RBI's for the Knights.

In the outfield, Samantha Montague will get time in leftfield with Kindra Cox also likely to get time. Junior Hope Torbert returns in centerfield after hitting .333 with 14 RBI and 11 runs scored.

In chasing a sectional title, the Knights have their work cut out for them as North and South both return plenty of talent and are getting honorable mention votes in the pre-season polls along with WIC foe Edgewood, which is ranked No. 7 in Class 3A after a 25-7 mark. In Class 2A, North Central (Farmersburg) is also receiving honorable mention consideration. Defending Class 2A state champion South Putnam returns all but one player from its 28-1 squad last year.

"Softball has really developed into a dominating sport. There are several competitive teams in the Wabash Valley," Jones said. "I feel that this team has great chemistry this year. If we can make the plays and stay focused offensively, the coaches see our team being successful."

Northview opens up the season on April 3 when the Knights play host to Martinsville at 5 p.m.

2012 Varsity softball schedule

Tue. April 3vs. Martinsville5 p.m.
Thur. April 5at Linton5 p.m.
Fri. April 6at Miss Softball AmericaTBA

THS Braves Bash

Sat. April 7At Miss Softball AmericaTBA

THS Braves Bash

Mon. April 9at Bloom. South6 p.m.
Tue. April 10at Clay City4:30 p.m.
Thur. April 12vs. Shakamak5 p.m.
Fri. April 13at Jasper InviteTBA
Sat. April 14at Jasper InviteTBA
Mon. April 16at Plainfield5:30 p.m.
Tue. April 17vs. Sullivan5 p.m.
Tue. April 24at Brown County6 p.m.
Thur. April 26vs. Mooresville5 p.m.
Tue. May 1vs. West Vigo5 p.m.
Thur. May 3vs. Bloom. North5 p.m.
Fri. May 4at Edgewood5 p.m.
Sat. May 5Big Four Tourney10 a.m.

At Northview H.S.

Mon. May 7Riverton Parke5 p.m.
Tue. May 8at S.Vermillion5 p.m.
Wed. May 9at North Central5 p.m.
Fri. May 11vs. Owen Valley5 p.m.
Tue. May 16vs. T.H. North5 p.m.
Sat. May 19at Boonville Tourney10 a.m.
Mon. May 21Sectional Week
Tue. May 22Sectional Week
Wed. May 23Sectional Week

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I couldn't help but notice that there is now freshman moving up to varsity. What happened to the other girls who have busted there backsides for Northview. Is this the treatment they deserve. Some of the parents can't afford to pay to play all year, I think this is what this is all about.l Oh yes I have a granddaughter who plays and practices very hard, this is what she gets. She says she don't care but I know it bothers her. Myself I'm furious as h---. I will be at games to get my two cents in.

-- Posted by Eaglesnest 1 on Mon, Mar 26, 2012, at 9:56 PM

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