Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 10 April 2012 15:10
The Hillsboro softball team overcame a shaky start to post a 10-6 win over Kingman and a sweep of its doubleheader Thursday in the Trojans’ home opener.
Hillsboro, now 6-0 for the season, used a seven-run fifth inning to subdue the Eagles, 10-1, in the first game.
In Game 2, a two-out error opened the door for three unearned Kingman runs in the first inning against pitcher Julie Sinclair.
The Trojans responded with three of their own in the bottom of the inning, including a two-run single by Bradli Nowak that tied the score. A sacrifice fly by the previous batter, Sammy Koons, brought home Stephanie Sanders, who had led off with a double.
But Kingman touched Sinclair with a walk and two singles to begin the second inning. All three runners eventually scored for a 6-3 Eagle lead.
Allison Weber stepped in for Sinclair with two outs in the inning, and held Kingman scoreless the rest of the way.
Hillsboro tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the second on only two hits, one being a run-scoring triple by Danae Bina. The Trojans were aided by two Kingman errors.
Hillsboro enjoyed its third consecutive three-run inning in its next at bat, again aided by two Kingman errors.
In the fourth, Amy Bartel’s single scored Nowak, who had tripled, for the 10th and final run of the game.
“Our offense really backed us up early in the game,” coach Stephanie Sinclair said.
Weber (3-0) allowed only three hits while striking out seven hitters in 51?3 innings.
“Allison has started this season so tough,” Sinclair said. “She has really been on, and really keeps most batters off-balance. I loved seeing her get the easy ground balls off the hardest Kingman batters.”
In Game 2, Courtney Weber (2-0) threw a six inning no-hitter in a game that ended by run rule in the bottom of the sixth. The senior right-hander walked seven batters, but struck out five.
“Courtney pitched a tough game,” Sinclair said. “She was in a battle with herself at some points in the game, working on her form. She did an exceptional job in the middle innings, commanding the game by staying ahead in the count and really mixing things up.”
Leading 3-1 going into the bottom of the fifth, Hillsboro combined five walks with three hits and for a seven-run burst that put the game on ice.
“Everyone loves playing at home,” Sinclair said about Thursday’s home opener after four straight on the road. “We have the nicest facility around filled with diehard fans. Many of the girls have looked forward to this for years.”
Hesston—Hillsboro shattered a five-inning pitching duel with a 12-run sixth inning for a 12-0 win over Hesston in Game 2 of its April 3 doubleheader on the Swathers’ home field.
Hesston’s Aubrey Denno and Hillsboro’s Allison Weber (2-0) were locked in a scoreless tie before the dam burst with an explosive combination of eight Trojan hits and four Swather errors.
“I really thought we lost some opportunities earlier in the game to score—base-running mistakes hurt us,” coach Stephanie Sinclair said. “Otherwise, our timing on the pitcher became crucial and we pulled out some hits. I really think the girls stayed confident in the game, even when we did not get as many hits early.”
Allison Weber finished with a three-hitter for Hillsboro’s first shutout of the season.
“Allison pitched a very consistent game, getting ahead in the count and then throwing some junk at times really makes her command the game,” Sinclair said. “She threw locations well and her change-up was on. Our defense helped us out, too.
Hillsboro’s 13-2 victory in Game 1 followed a similar story line, but was not quite as dramatic.
The two teams were tied at 2-2 through four innings with Denno and Courtney Weber going head to head. Krista Reimer lit the fuse in the fifth with a lead-off double. Danae Bina drove her home with a double one out later, and Bradli Nowak and Amy Bartel followed with singles. The big hit in the five-run inning was a two-out, two-run single by Steph Sanders.
The Trojans added two more runs in the sixth and four in the seventh for the final margin. Koons cleared the centerfield fence for a three-run homer in the seventh.
Courtney Weber (1-0) went the distance for the Trojans, scattering four hits and four walks.
Coming—Hillsboro was scheduled to host Lyons Tuesday, then are to travel to Halstead Friday for another twin bill starting at 4:30 p.m.