Benn gets 3 hits, Stiles hits 3-run homer, but Northfield beats Valley
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
AKRON –- When she was a student at Manchester Junior High School, one of Brittany Mathias’ teachers was Brandon Baker, who was also the football coach at Manchester at the time.
More than a decade and a half later, it wasn’t Baker so much as Baker’s daughter who schooled Mathias’ Tippecanoe Valley softball team Thursday.
Addi Baker went 5 for 5 with three RBIs, including a homer, and Jenna Krom had three hits and three RBIs to lead Northfield past Valley 15-8.
Brittany Benn went 3 for 3, and Corinna Stiles homered, walked and had three RBIs and
two runs scored for Valley.
Valley got within 9-8 in the bottom of the sixth when Stiles walked, stole second and third and scored on a passed ball.
Valley would eventually load the bases, but Northfield pitcher Abigail Hunter struck out Kayleena Agnew to end the inning.
Northfield then scored six insurance runs off Stiles in the top of the seventh to pull away. Ainsley Dale drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk, Baker completed her five-hit day with a two-run single, Krom singled in a run, Kyra Kennedy drove in a run on groundout to shortstop, and Hunter drove in a run with a single.
Hunter survived traffic on the bases to earn the win in the circle. She allowed 11 hits, walked six and hit a batter, but she also struck out eight. Her only 1-2-3 inning happened in the bottom of the seventh.
“We just got our heads down a little bit,” Mathias said. “So we’ve just got to keep our heads up and keep level-swinging the bats and keep being aggressive at the plate. … We’ve got to be able to deliver when we’re up to bat. That’s why we have hitting practice. That’s why we practice all the time. When you have a job to do, you’ve got to do your job. It’s a new day, a new game coming up. So we’re just going to keep working hard on hitting and getting better and making sure we know our situations.”
Addi Baker singled in the first, singled in the second and singled in the fourth. Then with Northfield leading 8-7, she led off the sixth with a solo homer that just got over the wall in right-center.
Brandon Baker, Addi’s father, is both the football and softball coach at Northfield. Addi Baker is a Southern Illinois recruit.
“Addi’s just an all-around athlete,” Mathias said. “I mean, her dad was my teacher back in middle school. I think I was in junior high when he first started teaching. She puts the work in. She’s a good athlete. … Hitters are going to hit the ball. It’s just the defense’s job to stop it. But you’re going to have those hits that are going to be in the gap. You’ve just got to hustle and get the throw in.”
Northfield scored three runs in the first and never trailed. Valley would get within one run on four different occasions.
Madi Smith’s two-out, two-run double in the second got Valley within 3-2.
Stiles’ 3-run homer on a 3-2 pitch in the fourth made it 7-6.
Benn singled to lead off the fifth and later scored on a passed ball to make it 8-7.
And Valley countered Baker’s homer when Stiles scored on another passed ball in the sixth.
But the Lady Vikings also left 10 on base. They also committed five errors.
“Learn from your mistakes and don’t do it again,” Mathias said.
Northfield 15, Valley 8
Northfield 303 111 6 – 15 14 3
Valley 021 311 0 – 8 11 5
WP – Abigail Hunter (7 IP, 11 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 6 BB, 1 HBP, 8 K)
LP – Macy Kirchenstien (5 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K)
2B – Jenna Krom (NF), Kyra Kennedy (NF), Madi Smith (TV)
HR – Addi Baker (NF), Corinna Stiles (TV)
Watch the entire game here: