Trojans rally to sweep Nickerson

Jenesa Klose winds and fires in the season opener. After notching six strikeouts in the first game, Klose and the Trojans limited Nickerson to two hits and three baserunners in the second game, a 2-0 win for the Trojans.

Aside from a blustery cold northwest wind, the first games of the season proved to be a tougher test than the Hillsboro High softball team may have expected.

But the Trojans passed it anyway, sweeping a salty Nickerson squad last Tuesday at the Sports Complex. In Game 1, the Trojans erupted for five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning for a come-from-behind 7-3 victory, then squeezed out a 2-0 win in Game 2.

?This was a good doubleheader for us to learn from mistakes,? coach Stephanie Sinclair said. ?I want to learn something new every day we take the field?and also walk away with wins.?

In Game 1, the Trojans got off to a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and second innings. But in the top of the third, a walk and a hit batter set up a two-run triple by E. Beguelin to tie the game.

The Panthers took the lead in the fourth on a single, sacrifice bunt and a Trojan error with two outs.

The 3-2 lead grew bigger as the game progressed. But in the sixth, the Trojans finally got to Nickerson starter Kelsey Herrell.

Rachelle Goldsby led off with a high pop-up that Herrell misjudged in the wind. The ball fell between home plate and the pitching circle for a single.

Jenesa Klose followed with a walk and Lora Andrews reached first on a bunt to load the bases. Amber King then singled to drive in Goldsby and Klose.

Another bunt single, this one by Jandi Nikkel, loaded the bases again. A short fly out by Amanda Bina doubled Andrews off third base.

With two outs and runners at first and second, Suzi Lindsay and Jessica Klose followed with a single and double, respectively, to drive in three more runs for the 7-3 Trojan lead.

?The girls really came around with hitting in the sixth inning,? Sinclair said. ?The wind was a huge factor for us. We basically had to try to hit to right field or line drives on the ground, with the north wind coming hard out of left-center.?

Jenesa Klose (1-0) went the distance for Hillsboro, allowing two earned runs and four hits over seven innings. She struck out six batters, walked three and hit one.

?Defensively, we struggled more than normal,? Sinclair said. ?I think we would have been errorless in the first game if the ball did not fly backward so much.?

Game 2 turned into a pitching duel between Klose and Nickerson?s Megan McLemore, who struck five of the first six Trojans she faced.

But in the third inning, Hillsboro pushed across the only two runs of the game. Jenesa Klose led off with a single but was forced out on a ground ball by Andrews, who advanced to second on a ground out by Nikkel.

Bina followed with a single that put runners on first and third. Andrews then scored on a fielder?s choice off a ground ball hit by Abbott. Bina aggressively ran to third on the play, then stole home.

Klose (2-0) finished with a two-hit shutout. She struck out three batters and walked one.

?The second game was great for Jenesa,? Sinclair said. ?She seemed to have more control of all of her pitches and definitely kept the batters guessing.?

For the day, Bina went 4-for-7 and scored twice for Hillsboro and King was 3-for-6 with two runs scored and two driven in.

Coming?Hillsboro?s doubleheader with Marion was snowed out Thursday and has been rescheduled for Friday, April 20.

The Trojans were scheduled to play at Halstead on Tuesday and to host Smoky Valley on Friday before traveling to Hoisington on Tuesday.

The starting time for each of the doubleheader engagements is 4:30 p.m.

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