Trojans lose two to Smoky Valley

Hillsboro catcher Samantha Moss squeezes a pop foul under the close scrutiny of the home-plate umpire during the first game of Hills­boro’s May 9 doubleheader with Smoky Valley. Hillsboro lost both games, giving the team a 2-17 record for the regular season.Close… and yet so far.

The phrase pretty much sums up the Hillsboro softball team’s final doubleheader of the regular season against Smoky Valley May 9 at the Sports Com­plex.

On the close side, Hills­boro lost a 12-11 eight-inning heartbreaker in the opener, as the Vikings secured the game’s final out with Tro­jans on the bases.

On the far side, Game 2 was almost abusive as the Vikings blistered the Tro­jans, 20-2, in a game that was mercifully called after four innings.

The two losses left Hills­boro with a 2-17 record for the season while Smoky Valley improved to 13-7 with the sweep.

The Trojans trailed Smoky Valley 2-0 after the first two innings of Game 1, but the visitors broke loose for four scores in the top of the third.

Hillsboro responded with four runs of its own in the home half of the inning. Cheyenne Bern­hardt and Samantha Moss each provided RBI singles in the rally.

Hillsboro went on to tie the game at 9-9 in the bottom of the sixth inning. Maria Nieto doubled and Sarah Jost and Bern­hardt both singled in a two-run rally.

When neither team scored in the seventh, the game went into extra innings. The visiting Vikings appeared to take control by scoring three runs on five hits in the top of the eighth.

But Hillsboro rallied once more. Nieto and Jost drew back-to-back walks to start the inning. With two outs, Moss drew a walk to load the bases and freshman Ava Weisbeck followed with a two-run single to close the gap to one run.

A walk issued to Kylee Martin loaded the bases again. But a soft line drive off the bat of Trinity Marler was snagged by the Viking first baseman for the last out.

Game 2 started normally enough, as Smoky maintained a modest 3-0 lead through two innings. But the Viking’s 11-run explosion in the third inning was more than enough to determine the outcome.

Coming—The Trojans, with a 2-17 record, were the fourth seed in the six-team Class 2A regional at Mound­ridge May 16-17. Hillsboro was to play fifth-seeded Little River, also 2-17, in Tuesday’s opening round.

The winner of that game would play the No. 1 seed, Mound­ridge (12-7), in the semifinals later that day.

The championship game is set for 5 p.m. Wednesday at Moundridge.

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