Crestview shortstop Tianna Rager (right) slides into second as Wayne Trace’s Emilie Linder applies the tag. Rager was called out on a close play, but her Lady Knights got the last laugh with a 4-2 win on Wednesday. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
Crestview shortstop Tianna Rager (right) slides into second as Wayne Trace’s Emilie Linder applies the tag. Rager was called out on a close play, but her Lady Knights got the last laugh with a 4-2 win on Wednesday. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
By Jim Cox
Times Bulletin Correspondent
HAVILAND — As Crestview coach Carl Etzler would say after the game, “If Kirstin Hicks isn’t here tonight, we get shut out.” That was almost literally true as the senior right-hander pitched and hit the Lady Knights to a 4-2 win over Wayne Trace. Crestview is 8-5 after winning its sixth game in a row. The Lady Raiders are 11-4, but have lost three of their last four.
It was a great game for fans, lasting only 70 minutes, with 84 percent of the pitches being strikes, and there were no walks by either pitcher. In Hicks’s seven innings she gave up two runs, both earned, on five hits, striking out only four. Of her 62 pitches, 46 were strikes. Junior Addie Baumle, the Raider hurler, also threw seven innings. She yielded four runs, two earned, on eight hits, striking out two, and throwing 82 pitches, of which 75 were strikes.
Crestview got an unearned run in the top of the first. Left-handed slap-hitting second baseman Lauren Schmid led off the inning by beating out a roller to shortstop. Third baseman Brooke Bowen bunted Schmid to second, and Hicks’ fly to right was dropped, plating Schmid.
Wayne Trace jumped quickly on Hicks in the bottom of the first. Shortstop Emily Linder ripped the senior’s first offering off the tip of the left fielder’s glove for a double. Center fielder Brenda Feasby beat out a bunt, putting runners on the corners, and third baseman Bailey Bergman smacked a liner through the left side, scoring Linder and Feasby. Bergman went to second on the throw and to third when that throw went awry. Carly Wright then lined one back to Hicks, who threw to Bowen, doubling off the runner. That made it 2-1, Raiders, after one. However, the home team would never threaten again.

Crestview tied it in the third when Bowen led off with a mis-judged triple to deep center, then came in when Hicks lined an opposite-field double down the right field line. Baumle, however, escaped further damage when first baseman Terra Crowle grounded out to second and courtesy runner Mallory Bowen was nailed trying to get to third on the play.
The Knights grabbed a 3-2 lead in the fifth. With one out, the speedy Schmid beat out a bunt, then scored on Hicks’ line triple down the left-field line. Crestview tacked on an insurance run in the sixth after two were out. Center fielder Cora Millay reached on a booted grounder. Shortstop Tiana Rager blooped an opposite-field single to right, putting runners on the corners, and pinch-hitter Courtney Grote duplicated Rager’s hit, scoring Millay.
“Kudos to Kirstin, she threw a tremendous ballgame,” said Etzler. “And I’ll tell ya’, Mac Riggenbach is our catcher this year, and she deserves a tremendous amount of credit, because she and Kirstin are on the same page almost all the time. We started mixing it up (after the first inning) because they’re a good hitting ball club, and they’re gonna hit the fastball. We tried to get them off balance a little bit, and their pitcher did the same thing to us. She pitched well enough to win the ballgame.”
“We started off really good, but she (Hicks) was jamming us, and we were hitting a lot off the handle,” said Raider coach Jack Baumle. “We couldn’t put it out of the infield. We had trouble making solid contact off of her movement. We weren’t seeing the ball very well.”
“They (the Knights) are good two-strike hitters,” the elder Baumle added. “We had them down in the count, and they came back with a lot of two-strike hits. She (pitcher Baumle) has a rise that really baffles a lot of ‘em. She throws a curve. She has a decent change-up. We don’t throw the drop much anymore — that used to be her out pitch — because the girls are moving up in the box now.”
Hicks went 2-for-4, a double and a triple, driving in two runs. Other major contributors for the Knights were Schmid (2-for-4, two runs), Bowen (1-for-3, a triple, one run), and Grote (1-for-1, one RBI). Wayne Trace had one hit apiece by its first five batters — Linder, Feasby, first baseman Libby Stabler, Bergman, and Wright. Linder was 1-for-3, a double, and scored once. Bergman was 1-for-3, with two RBI.
Crestview 101 011 0- 4 8 1
Wayne Trace 200 000 0- 2 5 3
Crestview (ab-r-h-rbi)
Schmid 2b/rf 4-2-2-0, Brooke Bowen 3b 3-1-1-0, Hicks p 4-0-2-2, Mallory Bowen cr 0-0-0-0, Crowle 1b 4-0-0-0, Riggenbach c 3-0-0-0, Guest lf 3-0-1-0, Millay cf 3-1-0-0, Rager ss 2-0-1-0, McClure rf 2-0-0-0, Grote 2b 1-0-1-1. Totals 29-4-8-3.
Wayne Trace (ab-r-h-rbi)
Linder ss 3-1-1-0, Feasby cf 3-1-1-0, Stabler 1b 3-0-1-0, Bergman 3b 3-0-1-2, Wright dp 3-0-1-0, Baumle p 3-0-0-0, Crosby 2b 3-0-0-0, Thrasher rf 2-0-0-0, Sweary c 2-0-0-0, Critten lf 0-0-0-0. Totals 25-2-5-2.
Triples: Brooke Bowen (CV), Hicks (CV).
Doubles: Hicks (CV), Linder (WT).
LOB: Crestview 6, Wayne Trace 2.
Double Plays: Hicks to Brooke Bowen (CV), Crosby to Stabler to Bergman (WT).
WP: Hicks. LP: Baumle.