Times Sports Editor
Thursday was a difficult day to be playing defense as Mooresville visited Northview for a softball battle between potential sectional opponents. Gusting 20 mile per hour winds made playing defense an adventure, but the Knights got some key hits and a couple of important defensive plays to maintain the lead and claim a 3-1 victory over the Pioneers.
"We had a couple of good plays there. When we needed them, we made them," Jones said. "However, we had six errors in the book and another four or so in my head. You can't have that many errors and plan on going out there and beating a good team. (It was) a lack of communication, lack of focus, lack of trust in one another and I thought we had gotten over that. It's a win."
The Knights took a 2-0 advantage in the third inning as Whitney Halfhill led off the frame by reaching first as her dribbler to first base was fielded by Jordan Speedy on the base line. The Pioneers' first baseman applied the tag, but the ball was jarred loose as Halfhill reached on the error. Ashley Hughes moved her into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt and Taylor Carter drove an RBI single to centerfield and moved to third on a throwing error. Alyssa Conrad then drove her home with a base hit to put Northview on top.
Mooresville had its chances early on, leaving a pair of runners on base in the first, third and fourth innings. However, the Knights were able to escape any damage as Carter pitched out of jams in each of the innings. Not to go unnoticed was the fact that errors in each of those innings helped the Pioneers threaten.
Mooresville got on the board in the sixth inning as Shelby Cash led off with a single and was sacrificed to second by Courtney Branham and moved to third on a wild pitch. Sarah Shorter drew a one out walk and an errant pick off throw to third allowed Cash to score and moved Shorter to second.
Looking to tie the game, Mooresville pinch ran Tara Davis for Shorter. Carter struck out Speedy for the second out, but pinch hitter Jessica Koller singled to left field. Davis rounded third in an attempt to score, but Northview leftfielder Kindra Cox fired a strike to the plate and Hughes tagged Davis out at the plate to maintain the lead.
Northview was able to add an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth as a double by Madison Nevins set the plate. Cox reached on an error by the Pioneers' shortstop as Nevins moved to third. Samantha Montague came to the plate and bounced a grounder to the pitcher. The throw home beat Nevins to the plate, but her slide dislodged the ball to give Northview a 3-1 lead.
Needing three outs to secure the win, even the seventh inning proved eventful for the Knights' defense.
A leadoff walk to Mooresville leadoff hitter, Jeana Gregory started the inning. Paige Starling lofted a fly ball to short, centerfield and the ball dropped amongst two Knights' fielders, but Gregory was forced out in a close play at second. Taylor Chitwood sent another flyball into the jet stream that fell for another error to put the tying run at first base.
Carter bore down however and got a pop up for the second out. Cash then fouled a ball along the backstop fence and Hughes made a diving grab to finalize a wild win for the Knights.
Carter picked up her 10th win in the circle this season, allowing just five hits and striking out six with only one walk.
Northview (14-3 overall, 2-0 WIC) hosts West Vigo on Tuesday in the beginning of the Big Four Tourney.
2B -- Nv (Nevins), Mv (None). LOB -- Mv 10, Nv 6.
|Carter (W, 10-3)||7.0||1||5||1||6|