Hillsboro wasted no time in Game 1, exploding for six runs in the top of the first inning. The Trojans took advantage of five walks in the frame and Bri Loewen, Taylor Nikkel and Jenesa Klose added base hits.
Hillsboro added two runs in the second and three more in the third as the lead grew to 11-1 through three innings.
Jenesa Klose finished with a six-hitter in a game that ended by run rule after five innings.
Nikkel swung a hot bat, going 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored to pace the Trojans. Amanda Bina and Jenesa Klose each added two hits to the Trojans? total of 10.
As easily as Game 1 went for Hillsboro, Game 2 proved to be a struggle. Facing a different pitcher, the Trojans found runs hard to come by.
For that matter, Jenesa Klose looked like a different pitcher too, surrendering three hits in a three-run first inning and six more in a four-run third as the Vikings built a 7-2 lead.
Hillsboro rallied for three runs in the top of the fourth, highlighted by Nikkel?s two-RBI double. But Smoky Valley countered that with two more runs on three hits for a 9-5 advantage.
Both sides added a single run late in the game as Smoky Valley claimed the win.
Hillsboro managed only five hits in the game, with no one collecting more than one.
Meanwhile, the Vikings tagged Jenesa Klose for 18 hits and 10 earned runs in six innings. The senior right-hander struck out two batters as she and the Trojans dropped to 13-5 for the season.
Hesston?Hillsboro fresh?man Taylor Nikkel scored the winning run on a wild pitch to help the Trojans escape with a 4-3 win over Hesston, Tuesday, April 29, at the Sport Complex.
While the first game was a nail-biter, Hillsboro took control early in the second game on the way to an easy 12-1 win and a sweep of the doubleheader.
In the opener, the two teams were locked at 3-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh. With one out, a hard line drive by Nikkel struck the wrist of Taylor Lowery?s pitching arm, changing the tenor of the game.
Lowery continued pitching even though she appeared to be in pain. With Nikkel safe at first on the play, Amanda Bina blooped a single behind second base, then Jessica Klose followed with a sacrifice bunt that moved the runners to second and third.
With Steph Abbott at the plate, Lowery uncorked a wild pitch and Taylor dashed home with the winning run.
Jenesa Klose picked up the win, scattering six hits and striking out seven Swathers. At the plate, Bina accounted for three of Hillsboro?s six hits.
Even with Lowery off the mound, the Trojans started slowly in Game 2. Hanging on to tenuous 1-0 lead through two innings, the Trojans finally broke loose for three runs in the third and four more in the fourth?on only three hits.
Swather pitcher Krystene Johnson struggled with her control, walking six batters in those two innings, and a Hesston error added fuel to the fire.
Hillsboro removed all doubt about the game?s outcome with four more runs in the fifth on four hits and a walk, prompting Lowery?s return to the mound.
The Trojans? 10-2 lead withstood a three-run Hesston rally in the top of the seventh.
Jenesa Klose went the distance, allowing 11 hits in the contest; all five of Hesston?s runs were earned.
Suzy Lindsay led Hillsboro with a 3-for-3 game at the plate, scoring three times as well.
Coming?Hillsboro was scheduled to complete its regular season Tuesday with a pair of games at Haven.
On Monday, the regional tournament begins in Council Grove. Joining Hillsboro in the field for the single-elimination event will be Northern Heights, Council Grove, Herington/White City, Marion, Riley County and Rock Creek.
Seedings and starting times for the tournament will be announced later this week.