Trojan softball sweeps Pratt

Hillsboro shortstop Shannon Heiser fires to first base for the put-out during the first game against Pratt April 14. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press

The Hillsboro softball team accomplished one of its season goals April 14 by sweeping defending league champions Pratt at the Sports Complex with identical 8-0 scores.

?We had a team goal to sweep Pratt because they always play softball at a high level,? coach Stephanie Sinclair said.

?I was a little concerned that we did not have all the girls at practice last week with the national youth conference.

?I guess we even over-achieved because I did not think they would be shut?outs,? she added. ?I am very proud of the girls.?

Julie Sinclair threw the first shutout to extend her scoreless streak for the season to 17 innings. The lefty allowed only two hits but uncharacteristically issued five walks.

?She just did not get ahead in counts but seemed to work through that,? her coach said. ?She just felt a little off.?

Her teammates provided all the run support Sinclair needed with two runs in the first inning.

But after Bradli Nowak led off the third inning with a home run, the Trojans added three more runs with two scoring on Mesa Merrell?s double.

After Sinclair escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, the Trojans added two more runs in the bottom of the inning with Shannon Heiser and Kenedy Lucero picking up the RBIs.

In the nightcap, Allison Weber allowed only three hits with eight strikeouts and two walks.

?Allie threw her best game,? coach Sinclair said. ?She was always ahead in the count and she got some key pop-ups when the defense let her down. Allie had good movement on the ball with excellent control.?

Hillsboro scored a run in the first inning, but blew the game open with a seven-run third inning fueled by six hits and three walks.

For the game, Nowak went 4-for-4 with an RBI. Madison Klein hit a double in her only official at bat, drove in a run and scored twice. Julie Sinclair added two hits and two RBIs in four at-bats.

Coach Sinclair said some of her team?s production on offense was due in part to Pratt?s best pitcher being sidelined with an injury.

?Pratt did have decent pitchers to challenge us, but nothing like (Britnee) Hill from past seasons,? she added. ?Our girls were ready for any of their pitchers. We had good reports on what to expect and stepped up.?

Coming?Hillsboro?s games against Kingman were postponed Friday to Monday. The Trojans were scheduled to play at Larned Tuesday and will host Sterling for a doubleheader Friday.

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