Hillsboro softball loses two to Lyons

The Hillsboro softball team simply was overmatched against an athletic and veteran Lyons squad Friday, losing by a combined score of 31-0 for the two run-rule shortened games at the Sports Complex.

The Trojans managed just two hits in the 16-0 loss in Game 1. Lyons pitcher Laura Pineda not only shut down the Trojans bats, but the senior swung a powerful one herself by contributing two home runs during a 4-for-5 performance at the plate.

The Lions scored in every inning against Hillsboro?s sophomore starter Taylor Helmer. The game was called after four innings.

To their credit, the Trojans stayed competitive through the first four innings of Game 2.

Starting pitcher Shannon Heiser allowed only a single run in each of the first and second innings. Three runs on three hits in the third bumped the lead to 5-0.

After a shutout inning by Heiser in the fourth, Helmer stepped in to pitch the fifth. She allowed only one hit in the inning, but three walks and a hit batter, combined with three Trojan fielding errors, resulted in an eight-run inning that blew the game open.

Hillsboro managed only three hits against Lyons pitcher Ruth Pineda. Only twice in the game did a Trojan advance as far as third base.

?We are trying to knock down errors?we did it in Game 1, but not Game 2,? said coach Stephanie Sinclair. ?We took a step back compared to Tuesday.?

Hoisington?Hillsboro turned in a Jekyll-Hyde performance at Hoisington Tues??day.

The Trojans pushed the home team to the brink in Game 1 before losing 5-4 in eight innings, then were barely competitive in a 14-2 run-rule loss in Game 2.

In the opener, Hoi?sing?ton touched Hillsboro pitcher Taylor Helmer for four runs through two innings. But the sophomore lefthander found her stride and shut out the home team on three hits over the next five innings.

The Trojans finally found some offense in the fifth inning. With two outs, Hel?mer singled and Shannon Heiser doubled. Samantha Moss drove in Helmer and Mesa Merrell followed with a two-run hit to close the gap to 4-3.

Hillsboro tied the game in the seventh inning when Helmer reached on an outfield error, then scored on a Heiser base hit. The Trojan shortstop advanced to third, but was stranded there by a third-out strikeout.

After Hillsboro failed to score in the top of the eighth, Hoisington?s Shae Bitter drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a one-out single.

The next batter hit a ground ball to Heiser, who fired to first for the second out while Bitter raced home with the winning run.

?She does so much for us as a team,? coach Stephanie Sinclair said of her senior standout. ?We could have won that game in the seventh with Shannon on third. It did not all ride on that (final) play. We are learning.?

In Game 2, Hoi?sington roughed up Helmer for five runs in the first inning then added three runs in each of the next three innings to fuel the run-rule victory. Heiser pitched the second and third innings, Helmer returned to pitch the fourth.

Coming?Hillsboro (0-6) will have its hands full this week as the Trojans hit the road to play at Pratt on Tuesday and at Kingman on Friday.

The Trojans return to their home field April 19 to host Larned.

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