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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Two home run night by Carter sends Knights to dramatic sectional win

Monday, May 21, 2012

Northview's Taylor Carter (No. 7) is welcomed to home plate by her teammates after her go-ahead home run in the seventh inning. [Order this photo]

Times Sports Editor

As the adage goes, 'revenge is a dish best served cold.'

On Monday night the Northview Knights served up a late dinner to Terre Haute North in claiming a 5-4 sectional softball victory to advance to this evening's 5:30 p.m. semifinal.

One year after the Patriots hit three consecutive home runs in the sixth inning of the sectional championship game to edge the Knights 4-3, Northview got a pair of home runs from junior Taylor Carter, including a go-ahead two-run shot in the seventh inning, for some retribution.

"Our seniors wanted it so bad," Carter said. "I really wanted to do it for them. I was just trying for a base hit. That's all I was looking for."

The Patriots used three consecutive Northview errors in the third inning to plate all four of their unearned runs, which erased a 2-0 Knights' lead. Carter had given her team the lead in the top of the frame when she drove in Ashley Hughes with her first two-run shot of the game.

Northview had retired Alisha Ludwig to start the third inning, but Marlee Yeager bunted for a single and Hailee Travioli looped a single over Alyssa Conrad at shortstop to put the Patriots in scoring position with North's clean-up hitter, Jazmine Allen coming to the plate.

Northview senior Alyssa Conrad celebrates the final out of her team's sectional victory over Terre Haute North. [Order this photo]
Allen, hitting .581 with a team-high six home runs, had been a serious thorn for the Knights as she boasted a combined 5-for-8 performance with a pair of home runs and five RBI in two games against Northview this season. This time however, it was Carter who got the best of the plate appearance, coaxing a pop-up for the second out.

The Knights appeared to be out of the inning when Alexandrea McKinney lined the ball to right field, but the ball was dropped as two runs scored and the game was tied. Paige Collins hit a routine grounder to second that was misplayed for another run and Katelynn Herrick sliced a fly ball to right field that was dropped for the Patriots fourth run of the inning, all unearned.

"Those first four runs shouldn't have scored in that inning," Northview coach Bethany Jones said of the third inning rally by the Patriots. "We talked about it and had to look past it and get ready for the next inning. The girls showed a lot of heart and a lot of character."

Carter agreed with her coach that she felt that her team was going to make another run at the Patriots.

"I had confidence in my team that we could get some runs back," Carter said. "We had nothing else to lose because they had already beaten us twice."

The Knights got one of those runs back in the fifth inning as Madison Nevins doubled, but was caught trying to advance on a fielder's choice by Kindra Cox. The Patriots got the second out on a grounder by Whitney Halfhill, but Hughes drew a walk to put two runners on base.

Terre Haute North coach Jack Kirchner elected to intentionally walk Carter to load the bases, but senior Alyssa Conrad followed with an RBI base hit to leftfield. The Knights nearly tied the game as Hope Torbert nearly beat out a sharp grounder to shortstop that resulted in the third out.

Carter pitched around the third single of the game by Yeager in the sixth inning to set up her team's dramatic rally.

Hughes beat out an infield single with one out for her third hit of the game to bring Carter to the plate. The junior got the pitch she was looking for about belt high from North's Hillary Rittenberg and sent it over the right-centerfield wall to put the Knights in front to stay.

Ashley Hughes rounds second after teammate Taylor Carter drilled a two-run home run to send the Knights to a sectional win. [Order this photo]
"I thought for sure that they were going to walk (Carter) like they did the second team because they did it to her twice last year," Jones said. "They didn't and Taylor was able to make good contact again."

Carter had to shut the Patriots' offense down in the bottom half of the inning and she did just that, striking out Herrick to end the game.

"It feels awesome," Hughes said of the win. "We've been so excited all day long. We actually had a group conversation last night on our phones about being pumped for the game. I was so excited. I couldn't get to sleep until like 2:30 a.m.

"We wanted this one so bad," Hughes continued. "People kept saying that this could be the sectional championship, but to come out and beat (Terre Haute North) 5-4 is pretty awesome."

The Patriots end their season at 21-8 overall, while Northview improves to 23-6 and plays round two at 5:30 p.m.

Class 4A Northview Sectional

Game one

Northview 5, T.H. North 4

NorthviewAbrhbiT.H. Northabrhbi
Halfhill 1b4100Yeager ss4130
Hughes c3230Travioli 2b4120
Carter p3224Robinson pr0000
Conrad ss4011Allen cf4010
Torbert cf4000McKinney dp4000
McKee 3b3010Collins 1b4000
Swaim dp3010Herrick 3b4010
Nevins rf3020LaTourette lf2000
Cox lf3000McBride c3000
-----Ludwig rf3000
Totals: 305105Totals32270
T.H. North0040000-472

2B -- Nv (Nevins, McKee), THN (Allen). HR -- Nv Carter 2 (9).


Rittenberg (L, 7-3)7.051024
Carter (W, 16-5)7.04719