BY KEVIN WANNEMACHER
Times Bulletin Correspondent
SHERWOOD - For years, it has been the Crestview softball program that seemingly always did the little things in key situations that led to Lady Knight victory after victory.
Friday night in Sherwood, it was the black-and-gold of Fairview who did the little things and the result was a 6-2 victory by the Apaches over the visiting Knights.
Fairview jumped on top early, scoring three runs in the first, and added single runs in the second, fifth and sixth for the win.
Crestview had three runners thrown out trying to take extra bases and Fairview used a key defensive play to thwart another Knight threat.
"They made every play tonight," noted Crestview head coach Owen Pugh. "Whether it is a defensive play or a key hit, they were able to come up with the big play and that was the difference."
The Knights tried to get in front in the opening frame as sophomore Mackenzie Riggenbach was hit by a pitch with one out. After Terra Crowle flied out center field, Fairview catcher Meagan Johns then threw out Riggenbach trying to steal second to end the inning.
Fairview would take control in the home half of the first.
Mallory Polter reached on a sharp single to center field with one out to start the Apache rally. A sacrifice bunt attempt by Johns was foiled as Crestview pitcher Kirstin Hicks forced out Polter at second.
However, the Apache rally was far from over. After Johns stole second, senior Corinna Gebers doubled to left field to plate Johns and get Fairview on the board.
Ali Hug then reached on a Knight error, allowing Gebers to score, before a single from Blakelyn Sheets put runners at first and third. Pitcher Haley Robbins then followed with a run scoring single to center that plated Hug for a 3-0 Apache advantage. Hicks escaped any further damage by striking out Sara Carder to end the inning.
"They were able to keep the rally going with two outs and that just comes back to them making big plays," continued Pugh.
Crestview got one run back in the second.
Hicks opened the inning by walking and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Haley Helm. Brittany Helt reached on an Apache error but Fairview recovered when Polter threw out courtesy runner Nicole McClure for the second out.
With Helt on second and two outs, Emily Bauer got the Knights on the board with a run scoring single to get Crestview within 3-1.
Fairview answered in the home half of the second, getting another two out rally.
Polter singled to center with two outs before Johns walked to put two Apaches on the base paths. Gebers followed with a run scoring single to left that scored Polter for a 4-1 lead.
Crestview again trimmed the deficit in the fourth, getting a leadoff double by Hicks.
After McClure entered as a courtesy runner, Helm flew out to right and Helt lined out to first for the second out. Bauer then responded with her second RBI of the night, coming on a single to right field to score McClure.
The Knights had a chance to trim the deficit further in the fifth as Tianna Rager opened the inning with an infield single.
A sacrifice bunt by Brooke Bowen moved Rager to second but Robbins struck out Riggenbach and got Crowle to ground out to end the inning.
"We had opportunities but we didn't take advantage," Pugh commented.
Fairview made it 5-2 in the bottom of the fifth, opening the inning with a single by Johns, who came around to score on a Blakelyn Sheets two-out single. The Apaches added another run in the sixth to set the final 6-2 margin.
"For us, we just have to keep working and get better," concluded the Knight head coach.
Hicks suffered the loss, giving up ten hits, three earned runs and a walk while striking out five. Hicks had a single and a double to lead the Knight offense with Bauer adding a pair of singles. Riggenbach and Rager also had singles.
Robbins recorded the win for the Apaches, giving up six hits and one earned run while fanning six and walking one. Polter recorded three singles for the black and gold with Gebers adding a single and a double. Alexis Hugg, Robbins and Johns also recorded singles. Sheets picked up a pair of singles for Fairview, which moves to 3-0.
Crestview (3-2) returns to action today as the Knights will take on both Lima Shawnee and New Bremen in Convoy.