Trojans tame Panthers for a 2-0 season start

Taylor Helmer, an all-league performer a year ago, pitches in Game 1 against Nickerson. The Trojans swept the Panthers in their March 27, 14-3 and 11-1.Hillsboro opened the 2018 softball season with a doubleheader sweep of Nicker­son March 27 at the Sports Complex.

The Trojans won Game 1 14-3 in four innings behind all-league senior pitcher Taylor Helmer and the hitting of freshman Dani Klein, who went 3-for-3 with three RBIs.

Hillsboro took charge with four runs in the first inning and led 5-0 after two innings.

When Nickerson manufactured a pair of runs in the top of the third, Hillsboro responded with a six-hit, five-run outburst in the home half of the inning.

The Trojans ended the game in the fourth inning when the home team scored four more runs to trigger the 10-run rule at 14-3.

“I felt like we attacked Nickerson and got them down early,” coach Steph­anie Sinclair said about her team’s play on a damp and cool Tues­day.

“Taylor kept us going with lots of strikeouts mixed in,” Sinclair said. “We did commit three errors, though.”

In Game 2, junior Chey­enne Bernhardt made her pitching debut for Hills­boro and posted an impressive 11-1 victory. She allowed only two hits, walked three batters and struck out four.

The Trojans scored all the runs they would need in the first two innings—one run in the first inning and two in the second inning for a 3-0 lead. A four-run third inning all but clinched the outcome.

Bernhardt went 2-for-2 at the plate to lead the offense, scoring three times and driving in one run.

Sinclair said she was pleased with the hitting of two freshmen in her lineup. Klein finished the day 3-for-6 with four runs scored and four runs driven in. Tuesday Weisbeck went 3-for-6 with three runs scored and one RBI.

“Dani made some great plays in both games, defensively and offensively,” Sinclair added. “Overall, we will need to cut down on base-running mistakes.”

Coming—Hillsboro was scheduled to host Larned April 3 with a 4 p.m. start at the Sports Complex. The Trojans travel to Hoisington Friday.

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