With Tena Loewen’s positive attributes — leadership, tenacity, and intellect — sometimes athleticism can get overlooked.
There was a play that did not get much love from the Hillsboro crowd Friday during the Trojan’s second game against Halstead, but it showed Loewen’s incredible speed.
Without the advantage of a running head start, Loewen went first to third on an infield single, dribbling up the first base line from Allison Weber in the third inning. Loewen reached the third-base bag standing up, easily safe. She forced a throw that sailed past the Halstead third baseman and allowed her to score.
“I just saw third base open and I went for it,” Loewen said.
The hit was perfectly placed, but Loewen still had to see the opening and trust her legs to get her there. There is only one other player on the softball roster that makes that play for Hillsboro, Danae Bina.
“We’re a little daring on the bases,” Loewen said of herself and Bina.
Bina is in the midst of an all-time breakout season with the Trojans. With four home runs, she has as many dingers as many teams. Her pulled foul balls are so ferocious that head coach Stephanie Sinclair was warning Hillsboro spectators lingering outside the left-field fence.
She is nearly as deadly running the bases and playing shortstop — there are few ground balls she cannot field.
On Friday, Loewen posted a Bina-esque line. In the Trojans 13-3 win in game one, Loewen had two triples she laced into the right-center field alley. She notched five RBIs and three runs.
With the Trojans already up 4-0 in the 16-1 game two victory, Loewen had another triple into almost the exact same spot, driving in Kennedy Lucero. Loewen led off the third inning with an infield single of her own. She showed her batting eye by drawing a walk to load the bases in the fourth and final inning.
“I feel like my hitting is finally starting to come back,” Loewen said.
Loewen seemed poised for the type of season Bina is enjoying this season last year for her junior year. In her sophomore season, Loewen showed flashes of dominance as a pitcher and the dynamic offensive ability she showed on Friday. Those plans were derailed by an ACL injury during that basketball season. Loewen could not even play this past summer, using all of her time rehabbing her left leg to prepare for volleyball.
Loewen plans to play volleyball and basketball next year for Tabor College. Had Loewen played softball last year, she might be playing the sport next season.