HHS drops game to Chase County

Hillsboro’s Cheyenne Bern­hardt scores on a throw to the plate when the ball pops out of the glove of Can­ton-Galva catcher Autumn Colgin.
Hillsboro’s Cheyenne Bern­hardt scores on a throw to the plate when the ball pops out of the glove of Can­ton-Galva catcher Autumn Colgin.
Hillsboro’s five-game wining streak, and its season, ended in an 11-0 loss to the top-seeded Chase County Bulldogs in the semifinals of the Class 2-1A regional tournament Wednes­day at Co­t­ton­­­wood Falls.

The fifth-seeded Trojans had come off a dominant 20-6 win over fourth-seeded Canton-Galva in Wednes­day’s first round, but found themselves on the other end of domination against the Bull­dogs’ 6-foot flame-thrower, Daryn Crawford.

The junior right-hander struck out the first nine Trojans she faced and finished with 11 strikeouts in the five-inning win.

Hillsboro’s only hit came on a bunt single by senior Shannon Heiser in the fourth inning.

“Chase County has an excellent pitcher who has worked hard this season to get that good,” coach Stephanie Sinclair said. “Otherwise we matched up, minus a few errors.

“We did not adjust well to start with, but after seeing her once I feel like the girls were convinced she just looked tough being tall, but that we could hit off of her,” Sinclair added.

Meanwhile, Trojan pitcher Taylor Helmer got off to a solid start, allowing only two runs on two hits in the bottom of the first.

But the Bulldogs broke the game open in their next at-bat, scoring five runs on three hits with the help of three Trojan fielding errors.

Helmer set the host team down in order in the third inning, including her only strikeout.

Chase County’s 7-0 lead was six runs more than Crawford would need, but she and her teammates sent the game into run-rule zone with four runs in the bottom of the fourth, thanks in part to two more Hillsboro errors.

Sinclair will lose three senior starters for next season: Heiser, Kalen Moss and Erika Bichet.

“Definitely we were a new team (this season) and we gained confidence throughout the season,” Sinclair said. “Hopefully the girls put in more work this summer and the confidence will not have to be rebuilt next season.”

Canton-Galva—The Trojans came out primed to play against their first-round neighbors to the west.

The first four hitters in the lineup—Sarah Jost, Shannon Heiser, Trinity Malm and Mesa Merrell—registered consecutive singles against Eagle starter Taylor Everett before the sophomore retired the next three batters to hold the lead at 4-0.

The Eagles soared right back into contention with a three-run bottom-of-the-first against Hillsboro left-hander Taylor Helmer. A run-scoring double by Zoe Unruh was the big hit.

But the Trojans came back with a vengeance in the second inning, scoring eight runs on five hits aided by three walks and a hit batter.

Hillsboro’s six-run burst in the fourth inning put the game well past the run-rule require­ment at 18-4.

Malm, a freshman, led the Trojan attack with three hits in four official at bats. She scored three runs and drove in four. Heiser and Merrell each contributed three hits and two RBIs.

“The girls know we play a hard schedule and we felt Canton-Galva was a team we could jump on,” coach Stephanie Sinclair said. ‘Taylor has been in good control and our confidence was high. I did know we could bunt against their defense.”