Northview High School softball fans got all they wanted Tuesday in the Knights' season opener against the Martinsville Artesians.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, NHS senior Alyssa Conrad singled, driving in Ashley Hughes for the game-winner as the Knights earned the 2-1 extra-inning victory.
"Our seniors stepped up in the last innings," NHS coach Bethany Jones said. "I'm very proud of our character."
The game shaped up to be a pitcher's duel, with Martinsville's Chandler Elliott trading zeros with Northview's Taylor Carter until the sixth inning.
Carter had faced 12 Martinsville batters without giving up a hit until Mackenzie Dailey doubled, driving in Courtney Everman, who had reached base via an error.
But the Knights' offense woke up in the seventh.
During the frame, Conrad opened with a walk and reached second on a stolen base.
She then scored off a Kylie McKee single.
"Kylie and Alyssa really stepped up," Jones said.
Carter retired the side in the top of the eighth, setting up Conrad's heroics.
Jones said her squad might have suffered through the typical first-game jitters. Despite getting 15 hits, Northview stranded 14 runners.
But Jones said the upperclassmen displayed situational hitting late in the game, which secured the win.
Jones was also pleased with Carter's performance. The junior gave up one unearned run off five hits and three walks while striking out 13.
"She did what she had to do just to get the job done," Jones said. "She did OK. We made a couple of defensive errors behind her and we can't do that. But she made her adjustments well."
Offensively, Hughes paced Northview, going 4-for-5, while Conrad was 3-for-4. Carter, McKee and Whitney Halfhill also had two hits each.
In junior varsity action, Northview lost to the Artesians, 5-0.
Northview (1-0) will face the Linton Miners on the road Thursday, beginning at 5 p.m.
MHS -- Elliott and Dailey; NHS -- Carter and Hughes
WP -- Carter (1-0)
LP -- Elliott
2B -- Carter (NHS), M. Ferguson, Dailey (MHS)
Next Game -- The Knights (1-0) will travel to Linton to face the Miners Thursday at 5 p.m.