Weber pitches Hillsboro to 3-2 victory

A strong pitching performance by Courtney Weber powered the Hillsboro softball team to a 3-2 win over Southeast of Saline in the semifinals of the Class 3A regional tournament Monday night in Hillsboro.

Weber scattered five hits and struck out six purple-clad Trojans as Hillsboro (20-1) earned a berth in the championship game Tuesday evening against Sterling (13-9).

Both runs Weber allowed were unearned, thanks to Hillsboro errors.

The maroon Trojans took the lead in the bottom of the first when Tena Loewen ripped a hard single hit that the SES right-fielder misplaced. Loewen?s speed got her around the bases for the score.

Southeast tied the game in the third inning, thanks in part to errors by Weber and Loewen that enabled Danielle Bradrick to score on ground out.

Hillsboro came back with a run in the bottom half of the inning. Taylor Nikkel knocked a one-out double to left and Stephanie Sanders singled her home one out later.

In the fourth, Hillsboro bumped the lead to 3-1 when Franny Gottsch led off with a double, advanced to third on an error with one out, then scored on a perfect sacrifice bunt by Amy Bartel.

Weber (12-1) kept Southeast off the board until the purple Trojans managed a run in the top of the seventh on a throwing error by Hillsboro that went into the SES dugout, followed by two ground-ball outs.

Kristin Conley absorbed the pitching loss for SES despite striking out nine Hillsboro batters through six innings.

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