ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
The Hillsboro High School softball team put on its best offensive performance of the season, collecting 29 hits on the way to a 19-0, 16-0 pounding of Inman on the road Tuesday, April 17.
“They definitely weren’t the strongest team we’ve played this season, but we hit really well,” said coach Carolyn Long.
With the sweep, Hillsboro’s record moves to 9-1.
Leading the way against Inman was Amber Hefley. The Trojans’ junior shortstop went a respectable 4-for-10 for the doubleheader, but collected an amazing 11 RBIs for the two games.
The Trojans’ other hitting star was Jill Hein, who had been struggling at the plate coming into the game. Long moved Hein into the cleanup spot in her lineup and the junior outfielder responded with a 4-for-5 display, with two home runs, a triple, four RBIs and four runs scored.
“I don’t know if it was a mental thing or not, but she was sold on being the No. 4 batter,” Long said. “She got up to the plate and just took care of business.”
In the opener, the Trojans jumped to a 5-0 lead in their half of the first inning. The big blows were a two-run double by Hefley followed by an RBI triple by Robyn Penner.
The Trojans added two runs in both the second and third innings, then put the game away with seven more runs in the fourth.
Hefley finished the game with six RBIs on only two hits in five at-bats. Her second hit was a double.
Trojan pitcher Holly Lindsay, who gave up only two hits in the six-inning win, went 3-for-4 from the plate and scored four runs. On the mound, Lindsay recorded seven strikeouts while walking only two.
In the second game, Hillsboro again struck early, scoring three times in the top of the first on three hits. Hein drove in two of the runs with her first home run of the game.
Hillsboro led only 4-0 through three innings, but broke the game open with five runs in fourth. Hefley drove in three of the runs with a bases-loaded double and Hill followed with her second home run to drive in the other two.
The Trojans didn’t need them, but they picked up seven more runs in the sixth, which turned out to be the final inning of the game because of the 10-run rule.
Lindsay was overpowering on the mound again, allowing only two Teuton hits. In this game, she struck out a season-high 10 batters and walked only two.
Long said she was pleased with all aspects of her team’s game. Aside from the strong team offense and Lindsay’s pitching, the Trojans committed only two errors on the day.
Coming-The Trojans were scheduled to play Hesston yesterday. They travel to Marion on Friday for a doubleheader, which will begin at 4:30 p.m.
The following Tuesday, the Trojans travel to Wichita to play for the MCAA title against Wichita Collegiate.
“I’ll be anxious to see how we play against Collegiate,” Long said. “Right now they’re undefeated and they were the preseason pick to be first in our conference. So we’ll just see what happens.
“It’ll be good timing for us, playing them right before regionals,” she added. “It will get us ready and we’ll see what more we need to focus on before we begin regionals.”