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Sanders key in HHS softball success

Trojans win games against Kingman 11-1 and 10-6

Staff writer

It is the story of the rising star and gracious veteran, a common tale for Hillsboro High School female athletes.

Danae Bina was one of the most important players on the field for Hillsboro in 11-1 and 10-6 victories over Kingman on Thursday in Hillsboro.

Bina went 2-for-4 in both games at the plate with 3 runs and 2 RBIs. At shortstop, she was also instrumental to pitcher Courtney Weber successfully completing a no-hitter in the first game and Allison Weber shutting down the Kingman offense in the second game. Bina showcased her range in the position, picking up ground balls heading into right field without having to dive or affect her throw.

“Shortstop is a longer throw,” Bina said. “I like that.”

With less notable stats was leadoff hitter Stephanie Sanders. She scored two runs in the first game on walks. She led off the Hillsboro order with a double in the first inning of the second game, eventually scoring a run. She reached base again twice on a walk and an error.

Leadoff is Sanders third different batting order position in as many years. She has hit third and cleanup for Hillsboro in the past.

“If you’re leading off, you have to be ready to set the tempo of the game,” Sanders said.

Sanders started the second game at second base. In the second inning, she was transferred from second to center field on a pitching change.

“To be able to have a successful team, you have to be able to make those changes,” Sanders said. “I’ve got two really good outfielders in Krista (Reimer) and Amy (Bartel) to help me out.”

Center field is Sanders third defensive position in as many years. Two years ago, she started for the Trojans at short and played well. Her defense was consistent enough to allow Hillsboro to rack up a 19-1 record in the regular season.

In half the games last season, Sanders was moved to second base, displacing Tena Loewen. With Loewen injured for the spring season this year, both Sanders and Bina went into preseason practices wanting to win the shortstop job.

“We were both kind of looking at it,” Bina said. “We were challenging each other.”

Coach Stephanie Sinclair decided on Bina mainly because Sanders was too valuable in other positions. It was natural for her to return to second with her experience from last season.

“She did such a good job on pickoffs and bunt coverage,” Sinclair said of Sanders.

It was better for the team, something Sanders understands.

“Not everybody can do that, go from second to center field,” Sanders said. “I can step in at any position except pitcher.”

Sanders had experience playing center field in summer ball, along with third base, first base, both corner outfield positions, and catcher.

Sinclair said the current infield alignment — Erin Loewen anchoring third base with consistent throws, Bina at short, Sammy Koons at first, and Sanders and Courtney Weber platooning at second — has solidified the Trojan defense. With Sanders and Allison Weber in center field, the Trojans employ three outfielders at a time who could play center field on other teams.

“We’re solid everywhere,” Bina said.

Last modified April 12, 2012

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