ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Except for one inning in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader, the Hillsboro softball team played toe-to-toe with a strong Wichita Collegiate team, but ended up on the losing end in both games, 6-0 and 2-1, in Wichita.
In the opener, the Spartans led only 1-0 through 31/2 innings in a pitching duel between Hillsboro Marisaa Diener and Collegiate standout Rachel Wenger. Collegiate’s only run was unearned.
But in the bottom of the fourth, the home team essentially broke the game open by scoring four runs on only one hit. They got some crucial help from the Trojans in the form of a walk and five fielding errors.
Collegiate added its final run in the fifth on a base hit and three fielder’s choices.
Diener (3-3) finished the game with a five-hitter and did not allow more than one hit in any of the six innings. She had three strikeouts and walked only one.
In all, her teammates committed six errors in the field.
Offensively, the Trojans managed seven hits against Wenger, but simply could not push a run across even though they got a runner as far third base three times, including the seventh and final inning when the bases were loaded with nobody out.
The second game was much like the first, except a more focused Trojan defense didn’t allow a big inning and that Wenger was matched against Laura Lindsay on the mound.
The Spartans touched the Trojans freshman for an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning on a base hit and an error by Hillsboro.
But the Trojans came right back to tie the score in the top of the second on a single by Laci Frantz, and a throwing error on the catcher after Sara Hamm struck out on a passed ball.
Collegiate scored what turned out to be the winning run in the fourth inning on a walk, a fielder’s choice and a single.
The Trojans managed only two hits in this game, one by Frantz and one by Lindsay.
On the mound, Lindsay (1-3) allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out two.
Hillsboro coach Carolyn Long thought her team competed well against a good team-except for the fourth inning of Game 1.
“Game 2 was certainly better than Game 1-not just because of the one run difference,” she said. “We just looked better, were more relaxed, and I think played with more enthusiasm.
“I think the girls know they are capable of playing with anybody, but we’ve got to come ready to play. In Game 1 we had one bad inning and we couldn’t get past it.”
Coming-The Trojans were scheduled to play a doubleheader with Hesston on Tuesday.
On Friday, Lyons comes to town to make up a doubleheader that was postponed because of weather.
On Tuesday, the Trojans close their regular season at home against Inman.
The starting time for all those games is 4:30 p.m.