Injury contributes to softball win

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF & TOM STOPPEL
Both teams battled strong winds at the Sports Complex on Tuesday, but it was an injury that proved to be a key factor in Hillsboro’s 16-1 blowout of Marion and a sweep of their doubleheader Tuesday.

After Hillsboro had won the first game 7-2 behind the five-hit pitching of Laura Lindsay, the Warriors took a 1-0 lead in the first inning of Game 2 on a lead-off double by Sonja Steinborn and a run-scoring single by Kristin Waner off Lindsay, who was making her first double pitching start of the season.

In the bottom of the inning, Hillsboro came back with a run on a double by Amanda Bina, a single by Lindsay and a ground out by Jessica Klose.

With Steph Abbott at the plate, Marion catcher Lanna Carroll went down with a leg injury, and Frankie Clark was pressed into action.

The freshman battled gamely, but the Trojans stepped up their aggressiveness on the base paths. Pinch-runner Meghan Jost advanced to third when a pitch got past Clark, then scored the tying run when Abbott grounded out to third.

The inning ended with Hillsboro leading only 2-1, but the Warriors seemed to have lost the wind in their sails.

After Lindsay set them down 1-2-3 in the second inning, the Trojans got to Steinborn for four runs on a combination of four hits-including a triple by Bina-a walk, multiple stolen bases and a wild pitch.

With Kara Holt taking over pitching duties in the third, Hillsboro added one more run on a walk to Suzy Lindsay, who stole second and third, then scored on a passed ball for a 7-1 lead.

The wheels finally fell off for Marion in the bottom of the fourth. Before making the first out of the inning, eight Trojans reached base-on four singles, two walks, an error and a fielder’s choice.

Nine Trojans eventually scored. The final one was Bina, who drove in a pair of runs with a single, advanced to second on the throw from the outfield, then scored on consecutive wild pitches to give the Trojans a game-ending 15-run lead.

“We didn’t play well,” Marion coach Charlotte Waner said. “It just wasn’t our day.”

Waner did affirm the effort from Clark, who was put in a difficult situation.

“She did a pretty good job with very minimal time behind the plate in practice, and I was proud of her,” Waner said.

The Warrior coach said her team as a whole simply did not step up after Carroll’s injury.

“The girls need to learn that (an injury) is part of the game, and instead of lying down, they need to pick it up,” she said.

For Hillsboro, Bina had an outstanding game at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a triple, a double, four runs scored and three runs driven in. Laura Skiles went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored.

The Trojans pounded out 13 hits in the abbreviated game.

In Game 1, Laura Lindsay simply outdueled Steinborn on the mound. The Trojan senior started the game with four straight strikeouts and didn’t give up a hit until Erica Gies dropped a soft liner just inside the right-field foul line with two outs in the third.

Hillsboro, meanwhile, scored a pair of runs in the opening inning. Bina reached on an error, Laura Lindsay turned a sacrifice bunt into a single when no one covered first base, and Jessica Klose drove Bina home when Klose was thrown out at first by right-fielder Morgan Cady after what appeared to be a base hit.

Abbott followed with a single that brought Lindsay home.

Neither team scored again until the fourth, when Marion’s Kari Tajchman tripled and then came home on a fielding error.

Hillsboro came back with a run on a single by Abbott, a stolen base, and a pair of ground outs.

The Trojans took control in the bottom of the fifth with a pair of runs on a double by Rachelle Goldsby, a triple by Bina and a sacrifice bunt by Laura Lindsay.

Marion touched Lindsay for three hits and a run in the sixth, but Hillsboro came right back with two runs in the bottom of the inning for the final 7-2 margin.

With two wins for the day, Lindsay improved her season record to 3-1. The senior struck out 11 batters in 11 innings of work, walked only one and gave up 10 hits and only two earned runs.

“Laura pitched the second game because of the wind factor,” Hillsboro coach Stephanie Sinclair said about Lindsay’s first two-start day of the season. “She gets a little more movement on the ball and was keeping it down in the zone.”

Steinborn took the loss in both games for Marion, dropping her season mark to 2-2.

“Sonja did a good job pitching in the first game,” Waner said. “We didn’t have a lot of fly balls, but she did a good job of controlling the game.”

Sinclair said her team was “really fired” to play from the opening pitch.

“I felt we played well considering the extreme wind,” she said.

The Trojan mentor like the way her team stroked the ball.

“Our hitting is improving each game with our team average now at .350,” she said. “Laura Skiles and Suzy Lindsay each had good games at the plate and Amanda Bina and Rachelle Goldsby continue to make the big hits for us.”

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