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HHS softball heads to state

Staff writer

Council Grove was no match for the Hillsboro girls’ softball team Thursday, as the Trojans claimed a berth in the 3A state tournament with a 10-0 win in the regional final in Marion.

The Trojans gave starting pitcher Julie Sinclair a four-run lead in the bottom of the first inning, and the senior hurler responded by giving up just two hits to the 12-11 Braves. Sinclair credited the Trojans’ defensive play.

“My locations were key to getting outs because I was jamming them a bit,” she said. “That was key to getting ground balls to the right side of the field where they were easy outs. Bradli (Nowak) made some great plays, and so did Kalen (Moss).”

Nowak sparked the Trojans’ offense with 3 RBIs on 2-of-4 hitting, including an infield single that scored Madison Klein from third. Shannon Heiser doubled to score Nowak, then scored the game-ending run on a grounder by Sinclair.

The Trojans will be making their sixth state tournament trip under Coach Stephanie Sinclair. Nowak said players like herself with state experience will help younger players handle the atmosphere in Manhattan.

“State is a big experience, and they can get shaken easily,” she said. “We all just need to stay confident. We have a lot of talent and experience on the team.”

Coach Sinclair said that talent and experience is the reason she’s staying flexible with her lineup as she eyes a first-round game 5 p.m. Thursday against Wellsville.

“I think we’re just going to go with whatever we think is right that day, for that game, for that inning,” Sinclair said. “There isn’t a set ‘this is the way it is.’ These guys are all good, they’re interchangeable, that’s what makes them so talented.”

The Trojans, 22-1, are seeded second behind 23-0 Humboldt. Should they beat Wellsville, a semifinal and possible championship game would be Friday. The tournament is at Twin Oaks Sports Complex in Manhattan.

Last modified May 28, 2015

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