Crestview pitcher Terra Crowle winds up during Wednesday’s game against Van Wert. The Lady Knights shut out Van Wert 14-0. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
Crestview pitcher Terra Crowle winds up during Wednesday’s game against Van Wert. The Lady Knights shut out Van Wert 14-0. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)

VAN WERT - After suffering a 10-9 loss to Elida last week, Crestview bounced back in a big way with a 14-0 win over Van Wert Wednesday. The Lady Knights are now 1-1. The Lady Cougars are 2-3.

“The difference was that we really played defense tonight,” said Crestview coach Carl Etzler. “They put the ball in play against us at Elida the other night, and we just didn’t handle it very well. Tonight we fielded everything that was put into play. All three (Crestview) pitchers did a pretty nice job. Van Wert put the ball in play. We had to come and make the play, and we did. That was the difference between the two games.”

After both starting pitchers, Van Wert’s Kateri Steinecker and Crestview’s Terra Crowle, cruised through the first inning, the game started to get away from the home team in the top of the second. Crowle grounded a leadoff single through the third/short hole. Her courtesy runner, Mallory Bowen, then went to second on a sacrifice bunt by catcher Mackenzie Riggenbach and to third on a wild pitch. Leftfielder Brady Guest walked to put runners on the corners. A throwing error on Tiana Rager’s bunt plated Bowen and put runners on the corners again. Second baseman Courtney Grote flied to deep center, scoring Guest. Shortstop Cora Millay blooped an opposite-field single down the left-field line, bringing in Rager. Those three runs, only one of which was earned, would prove to be more than enough, although there were plenty more to follow.

The Knights added three more in the third, one off of Steinecker, the other two off of reliever Brooke Brown. There was only one hit in the inning, an opposite-field two-run double down the right-field line by Grote, but three walks and a hit batter helped the visitors out. It was 6-0, Knights, after three.



Crestview added single runs in the fourth and fifth, both unearned. The only hit in either inning was a Crowle double. The Knights added a six-spot in the seventh. All six runs were unearned, although the visitors had five hits in that frame.

For Van Wert, it was a game better forgotten as soon as possible. A solid Cougar defense had bailed them out of many tight situations in the first four games, but that didn’t happen this time. Van Wert committed five errors, and there were several other errant throws that were saved only by good glove work.

Crowle worked the first three innings, yielding neither a run nor a hit, striking out two and walking two. Crowle and first baseman Kirstin Hicks traded positions in the fourth. Hicks pitched two innings and gave up three hits, fanning two and walking one. Grote pitched the last two frames, surrendering two hits and neither walking nor striking out a batter.

For the Cougars, Steinecker went 2 1/3 innings. She was charged with four runs, two earned, on two hits, walking two and striking out none. Brown went the remaining 4 2/3. Of her ten runs, only two were earned. She was touched for seven hits. She walked four, hit three, and struck out two.

Leading hitters for the Knights were Crowle (3 for 4, including a double, one run, two RBI), Grote (2 for 4, including a double, three RBI), Riggenbach (1 for 2, a double, two runs, two RBI), Hicks (1 for 3, two runs, three RBI), and Millay (1 for 4, one run, two RBI).

“We bunted well tonight,” added Etzler. “What we want to do is run this year, and we want to put some pressure on the defense. When you get the lead you can do that. When you’re playing from behind (like the Elida game), it’s harder. You don’t have those outs to give up. I thought the girls tonight got off the bus ready to play. Hopefully, this will carry over to tomorrow when we play Lincolnview in our league opener.”

Van Wert right fielder Claire White had two hits in three trips, as did center fielder Hannah Hulbert. Hulbert’s singles came on bunts that she beat out despite flawless fielding by the Knights.

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Score by innings: R H E
Crestview 033 110 6 - 14 9 0
Van Wert 000 000 0 - 0 5 5
Crestview (ab-r-h-rbi)
Brooke Bowen 3b/2b 4-1-0-0, Schmid rf 4-1-0-0, Mallory Bowen pr/lf 1-3-0-0, Hicks 1b/p/3b 3-2-1-3, Crowle p/1b 4-1-3-1, Riggenbach c/ss 2-2-1-2, Guest lf 1-1-0-1, McClure rf 2-0-0-0, Rager cf 4-2-1-0, Grote 2b/p 4-0-2-3, Millay ss/c 4-1-1-2. Totals 33-14-9-11.
Van Wert (ab-r-h-rbi)
Alyssa Bowen 3b 2-0-0-0, Ricketts 2b 2-0-0-0, Spridgeon ph 1-0-0-0, Steinecker p/dp 3-0-2-0, Royer ss 2-0-0-0, White rf 3-0-1-0, Brown dp/p 3-0-0-0, Bair lf 2-0-0-0, Eutsler ph 1-0-0-0, Stittsworth c 3-0-0-0, Hulbert cf 3-0-2-0, Rohrbacher 1b 0-0-0-0. Totals 25-0-5-0.
Doubles: Crowle (CV), Riggenbach (CV), Grote (CV).
LOB: Crestview 9, Van Wert 7.
WP: Crowle. LP: Steinecker.