Lady Knights take advantage of miscues to advance
Saturday, May 17, 2014 12:28 AM
By Daniel Joseph
Crestview shortstop Tianna Rager takes a throw as a New Bremen baserunner attempts to steal second base during the D-IV softball sectional final on Friday night. Rager and the Lady Knights won the game, 10-3. (dhi MEDIA/ Tina Eley)
dhi MEDIA Correspondent
CONVOY — Six errors and seven walks proved to be a recipe for disaster for starting pitcher Sophie Fox and the New Bremen Cardinals on Friday night, as they fell to host Crestview in the Division IV sectional final by a 10-3 score.
Apart from advancing to the district semis, where the Lady Knights will tangle with Northwest Conference rival Spencerville on Wednesday in Wapak, the big news was that Terra Crowle pitched one inning in relief, working from the circle for the first time in nearly three weeks.
“It was really big to have Terra come in and pitch,” said Crestview head coach Carl Etzler. “The game plan was for Kirstin (Hicks) to go four or five innings and then have Terra finish it up, but Kirstin was in command with everything tonight. We really needed Terra to throw tonight, and she came in and did a really nice job. It was really good for her, mentally, to do that.”
The Lady Knights didn’t waste any time as they scored a run in the first to take an early lead. After Lauren Schmid grounded out to the third basemen, Brooke Bowen was hit by a pitch and Hicks walked bringing Mackenzie Riggenbach to the plate. Riggenbach hit one to center, but the fielder dropped it and Bowen came around to score.
Tthe Lady Cardinals offense struck in the second. After a leadoff pop out, Victoria Wentz walked and soon scored on a Fox homerun. Fox hit the first pitch that Hicks threw her to deep center field and over the outstretched glove of Cora Millay, clearing the fence. The Cardinals took a 2-1 lead to the bottom of the second.
Crestview brought 10 batters to the plate in their half of the second though, and plated five of the runners. Tianna Rager grounded out to begin the inning but Courtney Grote reached on the center fielder’s error. Millay then walked on five pitches and Schmid laid down a bunt single to load the bases for Bowen. Bowen singled and Grote came into score before Hicks hit into a fielder’s choice scoring Millay. Brady Guest hit one past the third basemen that scored both Brooke Bowen and Sydney Bowen, who pinch-ran for Hicks. Crowle then reached base on another Cardinal error and Riggenbach came into score making it a 6-1 Lady Knight advantage.
The Knights would add-on later in the game.
Schmid reached on an error to begin the sixth inning and would later score on a Guest RBI single. Crowle then took a pitch off the center field fence for an RBI double, plating Riggenbach. Rager and Grote both added RBI singles to give the Lady Knights the 10-2 advantage after six innings.
Crowle came into pitch the final inning of the game for the Knights for the first time since the fifth game of the year. Crowle started off shaky as the first three batters reached base. Fox, who reached on an error, scored on a Crowle wild pitch making it 10-3, Crestview. Crowle struck out the final three batters of the game advancing the Knights on in the tournament.
In addition to the districts, the Lady Knights still have a conference title to win. Crestview will take on the Columbus Grove Bulldogs on Saturday in attempt to win the NWC outright championship.
“They (Columbus Grove) are playing a tournament game tonight that we are hoping they win because we want both teams to come out here tomorrow and be ready to go,” said Etzler. “This was obviously a big confidence booster for us because it would’ve been hard for the girls to lose tonight and then have to come out and play for a championship tomorrow.”