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Trojans fall to defending champs

News editor

The Hillsboro Trojans softball team came up empty-handed Monday against defending 3A softball champion Silver Lake, dropping the state title game, 5-0, in Manhattan.

Silver Lake pitcher Megan Deiter did almost all the damage on her own, striking out 19 Hillsboro batters on the way to her second no-hitter of the tournament. In three tournament games, she struck out 48 batters.

“She’s a really exceptional pitcher, and we just didn’t string enough together,” coach Stephanie Sinclair said. “I thought after we went through the lineup once that we’d start getting some hits, but it just didn’t happen.”

Sinclair focused on Hillsboro’s 24-2 record, second only to Humboldt, whose only loss was inflicted by Silver Lake in a state semifinal game.

“It’s still a fantastic year for the girls,” Sinclair said. “Nobody’s going to be happy with second place, but when you get to say you’re second among all the 3A schools, that’s awesome.”

The Trojans reached the championship game by winning twice Sunday. They beat Wellsville, 2-1, in the opening round, and held on to defeat Riverton, 2-0, in a semifinal game.

Pitcher Julie Sinclair breezed through the first two innings of the Riverton contest before running into trouble in the third. She gave up an infield single and two walks, loading the bases with two out.

Allison Weber replaced Sinclair on the mound and retired catcher Samantha Greniger on a ground ball to end the inning.

The Trojans got on the board in the bottom half of the third, scoring with two out.

Weber drew a walk and moved to third when Emily Jost reached first base on a throwing error. Weber scored after Riverton’s right fielder misplayed a line drive by Madison Klein.

Hillsboro scored again in the fourth. With Julie Sinclair at second and two out, Stephanie Sinclair put Samantha Moss in as a pinch hitter. Moss blasted a grounder that was fielded by the Riverton shortstop, but the throw to first was wild, and Julie Sinclair scored on the error.

Riverton threatened in the sixth and seventh innings, stranding four runners in scoring position, and giving Hillsboro the semifinal win.

Stephanie Sinclair said that in spite of the loss of six seniors, she hopes to continue the Trojans’ success in the state tournament.

“I would sure hope the kids want to build,” she said. “I still want it to keep going. All the way down through our younger ranks there are kids working on it. Hopefully someday we’ll be back here.”

Last modified June 4, 2015

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