NHS baseball, softball grab first win of year

Published 10:26 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2006

By By Matthew Nascone
The Northview Chiefs baseball team got off to a great start Thursday as they defeated Baker High School 10-0 in six innings.
"We were able to run the bases well and we did some other things right as well," NHS head coach Sid Wheatley said.
The game was a close contest until the fifth inning when the Chiefs broke the game open after Baker took out their starting pitcher.
"That first pitcher they threw at us did a good job through four innings, but when they brought those other guys in we were able to break the game open," Wheatley said.
Tyler Tucci grabbed three hits on the night and was the only Chief with more than one hit. Tucci also had two RBI. Brandon Walker, Jordan Cook and Justin Johnson all contributed a single and one RBI. Sean Little grabbed an RBI as well.
The Chiefs scored 10 runs in the game, but they did not get any kind of extra base hit at all.
"We were able to get singles and three walks, but we also struck out eight times and that is something we will have to work on in practice," Wheatley said. "We have to get better at making contact with two strikes."
On the mound, Matt Reynolds threw a complete game shutout for the Chiefs, allowing only three hits. Reynolds' struck out eight Baker hitters and walked only one.
"His control was great and I was pleased with how he pitched," Wheatley said.
On Friday the Chiefs took on Woodham High School and Wheatley said the same team did not show up for the game.
"We went from one end of the spectrum to the other," he said. "We were not ready to play. We did not hit the ball and we created too many errors."
NHS had only three hits from the bats of Tucci, Reynolds and Phillip Enfinger. And they created six errors in the field behind pitchers Jesse Hayes and Travis Duncan.
"We had a decent day pitching, but the errors killed us," Wheatley said.
Hayes started the game and Wheatley said four of the five runs he allowed were unearned. Duncan relieved Hayes in the third inning.
On the other side of the diamond Woodham scored 10 runs on 10 hits and no errors.
Wheatley said the key to future success will be how well the Chiefs can learn to cut down on the number of strikeouts and put the ball in play.
"We know one game does not make a season and we will come back and be a better team down the stretch," Wheatley said.
The Chiefs traveled to face Navarre High School Tuesday and the results will be in Sunday's Advance. Their next game is an away game against Flomaton on Feb. 23 at 4 p.m.
In softball action
The Lady Chiefs softball team grabbed a 9-3 win in their opening game against Baker on Feb. 17. NHS head coach Sammy Day said he understands the importance of that first win.
"Man that first game is so important because it sets the tone for the season," Day said. "We had a shaky first inning, but then we settled down and got the win."
Sophomore pitcher Caitlin Spence got into a first inning bases loaded jam, but she was able to work out of it and finish the complete game for the win. Day said he was proud of how Spence pitched after getting out of that early jam.
Spence finished the game with six strikeouts, two walks and three hits allowed.
The bats came alive for the Lady Chiefs in the third inning as they scored six runs in that inning. For the game NHS hit four triples and Day said the girls hit with power and every girl hit the ball hard.
"They all did a good job of hitting the ball hard even though not all of them got a hit," he said. "But when you hit the ball hard it will fall sooner or later."
Hannah Gunter went 2/3 with a double and two RBI. Nikki Crabtree went 1/3 with a triple, a walk and two runs scored. Meagan Pickern went 2/3 with a triple and two RBI. Spence was 1/3 at the plate with a triple.
The JV girls were defeated 8-7 by Baker's JV. NHS JV head coach Stephanie Elowski said the 10 walks allowed by the Lady Chiefs' pitchers were crucial in the game.
"We will be working on not walking as many people for the next game," she said.
The offense hit the ball well and they were locked in a battle of back and forth scoring all game until the end.
"Overall I am proud of the girls and they will get better the more they play," Elowski said. "This is a learning experience for them and hopefully we will come out strong in the next game."
The varsity softball team played Escambia County High School Tuesday and the results will be in Sunday's Advance. Their next game is Friday at home against district rival South Walton at 5 p.m.
The next JV game is Feb. 28 at home against Escambia Academy at 5:15 p.m.

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