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Loewen perfect as HHS softball sweeps MHS

Staff writer

With a called strike three, sophomore pitcher Tena Loewen completed a perfect game Friday to give the Hillsboro High School Trojans softball team a 17-0 victory and a two-game sweep at Marion.

Between starting and finishing the game with strikeouts, the Trojans kept Marion’s hitters off base.

“A big part of that is defense, because they have to make the plays, too,” Loewen said.

Loewen’s perfect game only lasted three innings, however, as the Trojans’ offense piled up runs, leading to a 15-run rule victory. HHS led 5-0 after one inning and 11-0 after two innings.

Everyone in Hillsboro’s starting lineup contributed to the offense, whether with hits, sacrifice bunts, or walks. Catcher Allie Faul, first baseman Sammy Koons, shortstop Stephanie Sanders, and center fielder Taylor Nikkel were especially successful at the plate for the game. They combined for 11 hits, one walk, one hit-by-pitch, and no outs. Loewen also helped her cause with two hits. With a 17-run lead entering the bottom of the third, the defense had to make a couple of difficult plays to sustain the perfect game.

“When you’re hitting, defense always comes a lot easier,” Loewen said.

She focused on throwing first-pitch strikes and switching up pitches.

Game one

The Trojans also won by the 15-run rule in the first game of the doubleheader, although in four innings. Pitcher Courtney Weber allowed only 1 run en route to a 16-1 victory.

With one out in the first inning, Loewen walked, then stole second and third bases. She scored on Sanders’ bunt single. The Trojans led, 4-0, with Koons and Faul also driving in runs.

After holding Marion scoreless in the bottom of the first inning, Hillsboro added three more runs in the top of the second. Loewen again walked with one out. After Sanders was hit by a pitch, she and Loewen converted a double steal. Both runners advanced again, with Loewen scoring, when Marion’s throw went out of play. With runners at second and third, Faul recorded another RBI with a single to left field. Krista Reimer followed that with an RBI single of her own. Hillsboro led, 7-0, after 1½ innings. MHS scored its lone run of the day in the bottom of the second inning.

In the top of the third inning, with Taylor Nikkel at third and Loewen at second, Sanders hit an RBI single to left field. After a bunt by Koons loaded the bases, Danae Bina hit a hard ground ball down the left field line and two more runners scored. Another two runs were tallied when an MHS outfielder dropped a fly ball by Reimer. HHS led, 13-1, and went on to win, 16-1.

The team also played Tuesday against Smoky Valley. The regional tournament begins Monday at Lyons.

Last modified May 12, 2011

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