Bina graduates as Hillsboro softball program’s career hits leader

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AmandaBinaAtBatP5130018.jpg

Amanda Bina stands in for her final at-bat in a Trojan uniform, during regional play against Herington last month?naturally, she ended with a base hit.

Through her four seasons at Hillsboro High School, Amanda Bina lit up the softball field almost as much with her smile as with her bat.

Which is to say, she had a lot to smile about.

Bina completed her career as the most productive hitter in the 11-year history of the program.

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"God gave me everything I've got and I practiced a lot."- Amanda Bina

The four-year starter walked away as the HHS career leader in almost every offensive category, including hits (146), batting average (.520), slugging percentage (.829), runs scored (138) and runs batted in (75).

As a senior, she set single-season marks in at-bats (78), hits (41), RBI (24), home runs (4) and slugging percentage (.910).

?Amanda will definitely stand out as one of the league?s top hitters of all time,? said coach Stephanie Sinclair. ?She contributed so many things to our team, but may be remembered most for having a smile on her face every day.?

Bina, who received all-league honors all four seasons, takes her success in stride and is quick to credit the source.

?I do everything for God,? she said. ?He gave me what I have, and I want to share it with people. I do everything to the glory of him.?

One of the things God gave Bina was a baseball/softball family. Her parents, Ray and Denise, were strong players in their day and their children have excelled in their respective fields, including time in the minor leagues by brother James.

?I?ve been playing ball forever,? Amanda said. ?When we lived on the farm we had a huge yard and we?d play stick ball for hours every day. Also, James had a team that my dad coached, and I?d go out and practice with them. I?d pretty much shag (balls) the whole time.

?A few times I tried to hit off of them,? she added with a chuckle. ?But that was a little advanced for me at that age.?

Bina said her hitting success has been a combination of genetics, environment and personal dedication.

?God gave me everything that I?ve got,? Bina said. ?And I practiced a lot. In the summer, Dad would take us to the field and we?d take a bucket of balls and hit.?

Even so, Bina said when she steps into the batter?s box she?s not thinking much about technique.

?I just hit the ball,? she said. ?I don?t worry about the pitch, I just watch the ball coming in.?

Bina was a key cog in a sizeable core of classmates that played together for seven seasons. They permeated the HHS starting lineup the past three years and posted a 43-18 record.

?We?ve had a special bond,? said Bina, citing the death of teammate Amber King?s infant sister during the 2007 season as a key event. ?We?ve gone through a lot together and that helps. I think it helped to bring us seniors together a lot.?

It showed on the field as well as off of it.

?You kind of know where everyone?s at,? she said of the team?s chemistry. ?You know their abilities, you know their weaknesses. It helps you to know where you have to step up and where someone else can take over. That makes it a lot easier.?

For all their success, Bina admitted she was disappointed the team didn?t reach its ultimate goal: to be the first Trojan squad to make it to state.

?We?ve been playing together since before our sixth-grade year, so you?d think we?d be able to pull it together and get a little further than we did,? she said. ?But I guess it wasn?t suppose to happen.?

Beyond the fact that baseball generally isn?t a outlet for girls, Bina has always preferred softball.

?It?s really fast-paced, and I love it,? she said.

And loving the game is key to being successful at it, she would say to the young girls coming up through the ranks.

?They just have to have their heart in it, or you can?t do anything.? she said. ?They have to want to play the game. If not, it?s not worth anything. You?re not going to get anything out of it, and you?re not going to put anything into it if you don?t have the heart.?

Bina plans to pursue the sport at Fort Hays State, but will undergo ankle surgery and sit out this coming year.

?I had lots of pain (this year) and had to suck it up pretty badly just to play,? she said. ?I?ve got to take care of it. After that, it?s whatever God has planned.?

In the meantime, Bina looks back on her HHS career with at least a degree of satisfaction.

?I guess I?m always thinking ?you could do a little better,? but I?m happy with it.?

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