For the third time in four years, the Hillsboro girls’ softball team is headed to the state tournament. The Trojans defeated Council Grove, 10-0, Thursday in a regional tournament at Marion.
Team members who have played ball together since they were 8 years old include seniors Juliana Sinclair, Allison Weber, Kennedy Lucero, Madison Klein, Emily Jost, and Bradli Nowak, and junior Shannon Heiser.
Lucero, a right fielder, said it was “really cool” to be a part of a team that had been together so long.
“We have really good chemistry,” she said. “We work well together on the field. We know what to say to each other when we are struggling, and we know each other really well.”
In addition to players for the high school, they were on an Amateur Softball Association travel team on weekends and played ball in the Hillsboro Recreational League.
When their parents organized the team in 2005, they named it the “Hot Rods.” They were a “coach pitch” team.
They played regular ball from their second year and were renamed the Hillsboro Flash, a name they retained until they became Hillsboro High School Trojans. They went to state tournaments a few times as a travel team.
As freshmen in high school, the girls joined a bunch of seniors who also were on a travel team in their younger years, creating an almost unbeatable team that won the state title that year. They lost at regional as sophomores and placed second at state as juniors.
As seniors, the girls will play in the state tournament Thursday and Friday in Manhattan. They are seeded second and are hoping to top off their careers with a state trophy.