Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 08 May 2012 15:06
Hillsboro built momentum for post-season play with an 18-1, 14-4 sweep of Marion Friday at the Sports Complex. The wins improved Hillsboro’s record to 15-3, but Marion dropped to 6-14.
The first game was decided by run-rule in 21?2 innings as the Trojans jumped on Marion pitcher Montana Percell for 16 runs in their first at-bat. Sammy Koons’s two-run homer was the most dramatic of the 10 Hillsboro hits in the inning.
“Sammy’s home run was nice to see,” coach Stephanie Sinclair said. “The pitcher was slower, and the timing had to be perfect to get one out.”
Danae Bina went 3-for-3 at the plate while Krista Reimer led the team with three RBIs on two hits. Courtney Weber allowed two Warrior hits to improve to 6-1 for the year. Chelsea Voth drove in Marion’s lone run with a single in the second inning that scored Percell.
Game 2 was a close contest through 31?2 innings. After Hillsboro took a 4-0 lead in the first inning, Marion pulled to within 6-4 when Megan Richmond drove in Jay Dee Schafers with a single in the top of the fourth.
Hillsboro stepped up in the bottom of the inning to score three runs, then ended the game in the bottom of the fifth with five more runs.
“In Game 2, they threw the stronger pitcher and we had to get back into the groove of hitting,” Sinclair said. “The girls did a nice job adjusting to the two pitchers. They threw quite different from each other.”
Amy Bartel paced the Trojans’ 13-hit attack with three hits in four at-bats; she drove in three runs and scored two.
Freshman Julie Sinclair (2-0) picked up her second win of the season by scattering four Marion hits.
“At this point in the season, we must play well each night,” Sinclair said. “Everyone has improved in the area.”
Marion coach Chad Adkins said, “We didn’t compete well at all in the first game. We were out of sorts for some reason. In Game 2, the girls competed but we came up short.
“We are going to work hard this week to be ready for regionals next week.”
Haven—Hillsboro swept Haven for the first time since 2005 with a wild, eight-inning 15-14 win in Game 1 followed by an 8-3 victory in the nightcap May 1 at the Sports Complex.
“The sweep for the girls is big,” coach Stephanie Sinclair said. “We have not swept Haven for as long as I can remember.”
Hillsboro was a mere 2-10 against the Wildcats over the last six seasons.
“The girls have this thing about Haven,” Sinclair said. “We have played them close so many times in a row—four one-point games—that we needed to get over the hump.”
It wasn’t easy, though. The lead went back and forth, or the score was tied, after each of the first four innings in Game 1.
The Trojans seemed to seize control with a five-run fourth. Freshman Bradli Nowak capped the burst with a two-run, over-the-fence home run that vaulted Hillsboro into an 11-9 lead. Sammy Koons’s two-run double in a three-run fifth inning made it 14-10.
But after a scoreless sixth, Haven erupted for four runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game. Hillsboro needed just one run to win in regulation, but went down in order in the home half of the inning. After Allison Weber got three quick outs against the Wildcats in the top of the eighth, Nowak reached on an error, Krista Reimer walked and Madison Klein followed with a base hit to left field that brought Nowak home with the winning run.
“It was a crazy game with lots of hits on both sides,” Sinclair said. “I wish our base running had been better. We should have won before the eighth.”
Game 2 followed a similar neck-and-neck pattern. Hillsboro opened the scoring with two runs in the second inning, but Haven responded with three in the top of the third on four hits and two walks off Courtney Weber.
Hillsboro tied the game in the home half of the inning, then took a 4-3 lead in the fifth, thanks to a pair of Haven errors.
The game turned in the sixth, when Hillsboro scored four runs on five hits. Koons opened with a triple. Two outs later, Stephanie Sanders and Allison Weber singled, Danae Bina doubled and Nowak singled. Haven put runners on base via an error and a walk in the top of the seventh, but Allison Weber, who came on relief in the fourth, struck out the next two batters to secure the victory. As the winning pitcher in both games, her season record improved to 7-2.
Coming—Hillsboro was scheduled to complete its regular season Tuesday with a doubleheader against Smoky Valley in Lindsborg. The regional tournament is set for May 14 and 15 at Southeast of Saline. Joining Hillsboro and the host team in the field of teams are Ellinwood/Macksville, Lyons/Chase, Marion, Moundridge and Sacred Heart.