The first inning of the first game made the difference between a sweep and a split Tuesday for the Hillsboro softball team against the Haven Wildcats.
“We were caught off guard,” coach Stephanie Sinclair said afterward.
Haven put the Trojans on their heels from the start, rattling off five runs with only one out, prompting Hillsboro to change pitchers.
Julie Sinclair gave up one more run in the inning, but held the Wildcats scoreless the rest of the game.
Hillsboro tried chipping away at the lead, scoring one run each in the first and second inning. Kennedy Lucero drove in the Trojans third run on an outfield error, but the rally stopped there and the Trojans lost 6-3.
The second game was much more even to start, both teams battling to a 2-2 tie at the bottom of the fourth inning.
By the end of the inning, though, the game would not be close again.
With runners in scoring position, an errant Haven pitch scored Allison Weber. Right after, Mesa Merrell doubled, scoring two runners.
Up 5-2, Emily Jost doubled to score another run, 6-2. Danae Bina had the next at-bat, sending a two-run shot over the right field fence for an 8-2 lead.
Madison Klein singled next, and then Bradli Nowak slammed another home run out of play.
The Trojans continued to hit four consecutive singles, scoring one run in the process. Kennedy Lucero then hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield, scoring the team’s 10th run in the inning.
Another RBI single by Jost made the score 13-2 going into the top of the fifth inning. Sinclair retired the first three Haven batters in order and the Trojans won by way of a 10-run mercy rule.
Stephanie Sinclair said she was proud of how the team has played against recent competition, splitting against Haven and Pratt Friday.
“We’re playing top 4A and 3A teams,” she said.
The Lady Trojans lost their first game of the season Friday at Pratt, 3-0, but came back to win the second game 5-2. The team plays next at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Halstead.