Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 01 May 2012 15:14
Hillsboro may have played a notch below top form, but the softball team did return to its winning ways with a sweep of Sterling April 24.
The Trojans snapped its three-game losing streak with 10-4 and 10-6 victories against the Black Bears to improve to 11-3 for the year.
The turning point in the team’s recent funk may have come in the bottom of the first inning of Game 1, when coach Stephanie Sinclair called a timeout after a couple of mental lapses contributed to a quick 2-0 Sterling lead
with a runner on second and only one out against pitcher Courtney Weber.
One more Black Bear single bumped the deficit to 3-0, but a pair of ground outs ended the uprising. Weber shut out Sterling the next five innings on two hits while her teammates built a 10-3 lead.
But the rally took some time in coming. Sterling pitcher Dani Dowell kept Hillsboro off the scoreboard until the fourth inning, when errors by her third baseman and right fielder enabled Madison Klein to score the Trojans’ first run.
A pair of dropped fly balls in right field opened the door to two more Trojan runs in the fifth, tying the game at 3-3.
But in the sixth inning, Hillsboro finally paid its own fare, combining four hits with two walks and one Sterling error for a five-run outburst.
Danae Bina’s two-run double was the big blow.
After Hillsboro scored two more runs in the top of the seventh, Sterling scored two final runs on four hits before Weber shut the door for her fifth win of the season against one loss.
“The girls remained patient with each other through the beginning of the game and we finally got on a roll,” coach Stephanie Sinclair said. “Momentum finally turned our way. A lot of times a few hits in a row turns into confidence for everyone.”
Hillsboro took control of Game 2 much earlier, parlaying singles by Krista Reimer, Bradli Nowak, Courtney Weber, Stephanie Sanders and Allison Weber into four runs in the top of the second inning.
That was more than enough support for Allison Weber, who surrendered two runs in the second, sixth and seventh innings on her way to her fifth win against two losses.
The freshman’s only shaky inning was the sixth, when the Black Bears touched her for four of their eight hits.
“Allison continues to gain confidence on the mound,” Sinclair said. “She is working on staying ahead in counts and throwing a variety of pitches to keep the timing of the hitters down.”
Coming—Hillsboro was scheduled to host Haven on Tuesday.
The Trojans will play at Marion on Friday before traveling to Smoky Valley next Tuesday. Both doubleheaders are scheduled for a 4:30 p.m. start.