Marion rallies late to split vs. Hillsboro

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Marion starting pitcher Alex Case uncorks a strike to a Hillsboro batter Friday. Andrew Ottoson / Free Press

A five-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted Marion to a 7-6 win over Hillsboro and a split of their doubleheader on Friday.

Coming off a dominating 11-0 win in Game 1, the Trojans (3-3) scored single runs in every inning except the second in Game 2 to build a 6-2 lead heading into the Warriors? final at-bat.

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Emily Rogers and Lauren Helmer led off the fateful seventh with singles. After Alex Cain reached on an error, Sarah Percell walked.

Trojan pitcher Jenesa Klose then struck out Lana Carroll for the first out of the inning, but walked Austin Percell to force home a run. Kristen Waner and Jordan Harper followed with back-to-back singles to complete the improbable comeback.

?We left too many runners on base,? said coach Stephanie Sinclair. ?Some mental mistakes hurt us in the seventh inning. I hope we continue to learn from our errors.?

Loewen and Bina led Hillsboro with two hits apiece while Rogers went 3-for-3 and Waner and Harper each contributed two hits for Marion.

Klose (3-3) struck out nine Warriors but gave up 10 hits and walked one.

Waner picked up the win for Marion, giving up eight hits. She walked one and struck out one.

In Game 1, Hillsboro jumped on Marion starter Alex Case for three runs in the first and four more in the second to take control.

For the game, the Trojans pounded out 11 hits, including two each by Loewen, Steph Abbott and Jenesa Klose.

Backed up by error-free defense, Klose picked up her third win of the season. She surrendered only three hits in the game, which was called after five innings because of the 10-run rule.

After giving up a pair of hits in the opening inning, Klose set down 10 Warriors in a row before giving up a base hit in the fifth. She recorded two strikeouts and no walks.

?This was the best game we have played so far this season,? coach Stephanie Sinclair said. ?We got great pitching from Jenesa, giving up only three hits.?

Nickerson?Elise Beguelin limited Hillsboro to 11 hits for the day to lead the Panthers to a sweep of the Trojans on Tuesday, 2-1 and 4-2.

In Game 1, Nickerson broke up a scoreless pitching duel between Bequelin and Hillsboro?s Jenesa Klose when Bequelin doubled with one out and scored when the next batter singled.

Hillsboro tied the game in the sixth when Dianne Sanders singled with two outs and Meghan Jost singled to left, with pinch-runner Taylor Nikkel crossing the plate on an error by the left fielder.

The Trojans saw their chance for victory dim considerably in the bottom of the inning. After Katie Mader led off with a walk, Klose came back to strike out the next two hitters. But Julian came through with a base hit to bring Mader home for the go-ahead run.

Hillsboro rallied in the top of the seventh with a one-out single by Brianna Loewen. Suzy Lindsay then reached on a fielder?s choice, forcing Loewen at second. Amanda Bina then ripped a two-out double, but Lindsay was thrown out at home to end the game.

Klose (2-1) allowed only four hits, struck out seven Panthers, walked three and hit one.

?Nickerson?s quickness and one walk won the game for them,? coach Stephanie Sinclair said. ?It was a very good game for both teams.?

In Game 2, Bequelin shut out the Trojans through six innings while her teammates built a commanding 4-0 lead with single runs in the first and fifth innings followed by two big runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth.

Hillsboro didn?t quit, though. Bina led off the seventh inning with her second home run of the season. Jessica Klose followed with single and eventually scored on a wild pitch. Beguelin walked Jenesa Klose with two outs, but struck out Jost to end the threat.

Jenesa Klose (2-2) surrendered 11 hits in the game, but did not walk a batter. She struck out three.

?Our upperclassmen need to pull through for us,? Sinclair said.

Coming?Hillsboro was scheduled to host Halstead for a doubleheader on Tuesday and will travel to Lindsborg on Friday to square off against Smoky Valley. The Trojans return home Tuesday, April 15, for a pair of games against Hoisington.

Marion was scheduled to compete at Haven on Tuesday, and then at home against Nickerson on Friday.

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