By Jim Cox
Times Bulletin Correspondent
sports@timesbulletin.com
CONVOY — It looks like Crestview has righted the ship. After a lackluster 2-5 start, the Lady Knights have won four in a row, including Monday’s big 9-3 win over Allen East. Crestview is now 6-5 overall and, more importantly, 3-0 in the Northwest Conference. The Lady Mustangs are 8-4 and 2-1.
The pitching of Kirstin Hicks was the main story in this one. The senior right-hander went the distance, yielding three runs, none earned, on seven hits, while striking out nine and walking none. She was very efficient, throwing 94 pitches, of which 77 were strikes.
“The difference between Bellmont (a 15-10 loss) — we struggled over there, had a bunch of errors — Kirstin didn’t have much defensive support,” said Crestview coach Carl Etzler. “The last three ballgames, the defense has come to where we need it to be. As a pitcher, you have to feel a lot more comfortable knowing that you only have to get three batters out, instead of four. She’s gotten herself into a groove. She’s the senior, she says she’s gonna step up and lead the team, and that’s what she’s done.”
Hicks and Mustang starter Aubren Davis breezed through a hitless first two innings, but there was plenty of action in the third. Allen East struck for two runs in the top half. Davis led off by reaching on a booted bouncer, then stole second. Hicks struck out the next two Mustangs, but a dropped foul pop-up kept the inning alive, and shortstop Audrey Rodriguez ripped a line single to left, scoring Davis with Rodriguez taking second on the throw home. Rodriguez then scored when catcher Erin Conkle blooped a single to center. That 2-0 lead didn’t last long.


Shortstop Tiana Rager walked to start the bottom of the third, then stole second. Center fielder Cora Millay lined an opposite-field single down the left field line, bringing in the speedy Rager, with Millay taking second on the throw. Right fielder Lauren Schmid beat out a grounder to third, then went all the way to third when the late throw sailed over the first baseman’s head. Third baseman Brooke Bowen grounded an RBI single up the middle, and Hicks followed with a frozen-rope double down the left field line, putting runners at second and third.
Bowen scored on a bouncer to the pitcher by first baseman Terra Crowle, and courtesy runner Mallory Bowen came in when catcher Mackenzie Riggenbach’s infield pop-up was dropped. Riggenbach then stole second, and left fielder Brady Guest reached on a grounder when the first baseman dropped a throw, also allowing Riggenbach to score the sixth run of the inning.
The Knights added an insurance run in the fourth when Bowen was hit by a pitch, then stole second. Hicks’ line single to center moved Bowen to third, and Crowle’s bouncer back to the pitcher plated Bowen. Crestview added two unearned runs in the fifth via a Guest single and two Mustang errors, so it was 9-2 after five.
Allen East scored an unearned run in the seventh on an infield throwing error, a Rodriguez single, and a Lloyd double.
Davis took the loss after throwing four innings, yielding seven runs, five earned, on five hits, striking out two, walking three, and hitting a batter. Ariana Schmiedebusch pitched two innings in relief, giving up two runs, none earned, striking out three and walking nobody.
Hicks was the only Knight with more than one hit. She was 2-for-4, including a double. Crowle was 1-for-4, a double, with two RBI. Bowen and Millay had identical lines — 1-for-3, two runs, one RBI. All of Allen East’s seven hits came from the first four batters, led by Rodriguez (3-for-4, one run, one RBI) and Lloyd (2-for-4, including a double, two RBI).
Scoring
Allen East 002 000 1- 3 7 5
Crestview 006 120 x- 9 7 4
Allen East (ab-r-h-rbi)
Rodriguez ss 4-1-3-1, Lloyd 2b 4-0-2-2, Conkle c 4-0-1-0, McCluer 3b 3-0-1-0, Sizemore rf 3-0-0-0, Wireman lf 3-0-0-0, Davis p/1b 2-1-0-0, Clum ph 1-0-0-0, Ali Schmiedebusch dh 2-0-0-0, Webster 1b/dh 1-1-0-0, Laycock cf 2-0-0-0, Calvert ph 1-0-0-0, Ariana Schmiedebusch p 0-0-0-0. Totals 30-3-7-3.
Crestview (ab-r-h-rbi)
Schmid rf/2b 4-1-1-0, Brooke Bowen 3b 3-2-1-1, Hicks p 4-0-2-0, Crowle 1b 4-0-1-2, Riggenbach c 3-1-0-0, Etzler ph 1-0-0-0, Guest lf 2-0-1-0, Mallory Bowen 1-1-0-0, Grote 2b 3-0-0-0, McClure rf 0-0-0-0, Rager ss 1-2-0-0, Millay cf 3-2-1-1.