By CAREY FOX
Times Sports Editor
TERRE HAUTE -- The softball season might be in its infant stages for the 2012 Northview Knights, but the team is already showing a penchant for the dramatic.
Held in check throughout the game by Henderson County pitcher Katelyn McMillan, the Knights waited until the final inning before rallying to claim a 3-2 victory. Earlier in the evening, Northview took advantage of seven defensive miscues to claim a 6-1 victory over North Central (Farmersburg) in the pool play portion of the Bash.
The bottom half of the Northview batting order had struggled for most of the night going hitless against North Central. However, trailing 2-0 after a first inning home run by McMillan, Northview was down to its final three outs in the game.
Taylor Carter led off the seventh inning, reaching first base as the Colonels' shortstop bobbled a sharp grounder. With one out, Hope Torbert rifled a single to leftfield that was misplayed and went to the wall to bring home Carter and narrow the deficit to 2-1.
Kylie McKee came to the plate and hit a grounder to second base and would reach safely as Torbert was caught in a rundown. However, the throw to third got away as both runners arrived safely and Northview was in business.
Sam Montague lined a shot that was caught by Mercedes Gibson at first base for the second out, but the No. 8 hitter in the lineup, Kindra Cox, came through with a game-tying single through the shortstop hole. Madison Nevins was up next and lofted an RBI single to centerfield to put Northview ahead 3-2.
"We talk about being aggressive whether it be at-bat or on the bases. When they make some errors you just have to be able to execute and take advantage of them. We really have to work on being aggressive at the plate when we have runners in scoring position," Northview coach Bethany Jones said.
Jones was especially happy to see the bottom of the lineup pick up some key hits in the game.
"They struggled in both games. That six, seven, eight and nine position had struggled, but when we needed them they came through for us," Jones said of the bottom half of the lineup. "I'm really proud of that bottom three or four players."
Carter, who allowed just three hits in the game, settled in after the first inning home run to gain her second pitching win of the season.
"That helps our confidence tremendously," Jones said. "I keep telling them that this team has character, they don't give up, they fight back. We've been talking about the difference between winners and champions and they are playing like champions. To win like that this early, I hope we can just build on that.
"We had the one error and the one bad pitch and after that we played a pretty good game," Jones said. "I think that will really increase (Taylor's) confidence," Jones added.
In the first game of the evening, Northview got on the board early as Alyssa Conrad's two-run single in the first inning brought home both Ashley Hughes and Carter, who had singled to set the plate for the senior clean-up hitter.
Those runs were enough for freshman Whitney Halfhill, who allowed seven hits over seven innings and just one run while not walking a batter to get her first varsity victory.
"(Whitney) was a little nervous the first time going out there as a freshman getting her first varsity start," Jones said of Halfhill. "She did a whale of a job. The defense played behind her as well. I'm pretty proud of what she did tonight."
The Knights scored a run in the third inning off a pair of T-Birds errors and a wild pitch and added another in the fifth frame as Carter doubled home Hughes.
Northview (3-0 overall) returns to action this afternoon at 11 a.m. at Miss Softball America in Terre Haute.
Terre Haute South Braves Bash
At Miss Softball America Complex
2B -- Nv (Carter), NC (None). SB -- Nv (McKee), NC (None).
|Halfhill (W, 1-0)||7.0||1||7||0||3|
2B -- Nv (Torbert), HC (None). HR -- HC (McMillan). SB -- Nv (Cox), HC (None).
|Carter (W, 2-0)||7.0||2||3||2||12|