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HILLSBORO: Hillsboro, Peabody-Burns team up for softball

Staff writer

Hillsboro’s softball team finished a win away from reaching the 2A state tournament last season.

And the Trojans will not be alone in this year. Hillsboro is joining forces with Peabody-Burns, which should bode well for both schools.

In her first year as head coach, Kalee Cross looks to lead the team to a sub-state championship.

The team returns a solid group led by All-Central Kansas League selections Dani Klein and Ava Weisbeck. Joining the Trojans from Peabody-Burns are Skylre Stucky and Breanna Lett, who Cross thinks will make an immediate impact.

“Skylre is coming in as an experienced pitcher, and I believe she will bring some power to our offense,” Cross said. “Breanna is joining our team with not much softball knowledge, but she is a hard worker and has already learned and improved a great deal. I looked forward to seeing her contribute on defense as well.”

Klein, a sophomore, is perhaps Hillsboro’s most talented player. She had a breakout freshman season, batting .423 with 33 hits, two home runs, 20 RBIs and 10 steals

As lethal as Klein is on offense, Cross expects her pitching and defense to be much improved as well.

“I’m excited to see her continue being a big contributor for our offense and defense as a shortstop,” Cross said. “She has worked hard in improving her pitching, and I look for her to contribute to our defense more as a pitcher this season as well.”

Weisbeck, a junior outfielder, also is a tough out at the plate. She had 27 hits and 27 RBIs and scored 21 runs en route to second-team all-league honors.

Cross knows Weisbeck can be counted on offensively and defensively.

“Ava made a big impact on our offense last year, not only in her ability to hit well but score important runs for us,” Cross said. “She was a consistent player in the outfield.”

Seniors Cheyenne Bernhardt and Kylee Martin are steady hitters and will play large roles in the Hillsboro offense.

“Last season, Cheyenne played all over for us,” Cross said. “She did a great job being flexible, playing where we had a need. Kylee was a big contributor for our offense last season, and I look for her to continue that as well as making an impact on our defense in both the infield and outfield.”

Hillsboro looks like a team that could surprise some people this year, but the Trojans are inexperienced. If the Trojans are to find success, they will need to establish team chemistry.

“Our toughest challenge this year is that we are a young team,” Cross said. “Half our team is brand new, so as a team we don’t have much experience playing together. The team has a great attitude and drive to improve individually and as a team. That makes me excited as a coach, knowing they want to do well and are willing to put in the work to make that happen.”

The Trojans will open thie season at home today against Pratt.

Last modified March 28, 2019

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