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Trojans sweep Ellinwood with game 2 walk-off

Win game one 9-6

Staff writer

Hillsboro High School softball fans were treated to a walk-off victory in game two of a doubleheader against Ellinwood Friday at Lions Club Field in Hillsboro.

The game started as a back-and-forth affair, with the score tied at 3 after one inning, and the Trojans ahead 5-4 after two.

The game then settled into a defensive struggle, as neither team surrendered a run in the next four innings. No Ellinwood runner advanced past first base in that stretch.

But Ellinwood took the lead, 6-5, in the top of the seventh before pitcher Courtney Weber struck out the final batter.

Leadoff hitter Taylor Nikkel was up to bat first in the seventh for Hillsboro. She reached first base on an infield fly, and as the Ellinwood players sorted out what had happened, she stole second. She then stole third base before Tena Loewen popped out to first base.

Stephanie Sanders got a single on a bunt and proceeded to steal second base. Sammy Koons grounded into a fielder’s choice. When Ellinwood threw to first base, coach Stephanie Sinclair signaled Nikkel to go for home plate.

Expecting the throw to be at the front of the plate, Nikkel slid into the back of the plate, tying the game at 6.

With Sanders on third base and two outs, Franny Gottsch hit a single over first base to give the Trojans the walk-off victory, 7-6.

Aggressive baserunning was a noticeable advantage for the Trojans, who didn’t hesitate to advance on passed balls. Meanwhile, they limited Ellinwood’s ability to advance runners by minimizing passed balls.

Game one

The Trojans took a 6-0 lead through three innings. For those three innings, Weber and the defense were perfect. No Ellinwood runners reached base.

Ellinwood scored two runs in the fourth inning, and Hillsboro added a run to make the score 7-2. They extended their lead to 9-2 in the fifth inning with RBIs from Weber and Nikkel.

The Trojans allowed four runs in the fifth inning, cutting their advantage to 9-6, but that would be the final score, as the defense shut out Ellinwood in the sixth and seventh innings.

One of the keys for the Trojans was the defense of junior catcher Allie Faul. She allowed a few passed balls, but she always limited the damage it caused. In two instances Friday, she turned those mistakes into positives, throwing out aggressive runners.

“The thing I see from Allie is that she keeps getting better,” Sinclair said.

Last modified May 6, 2010

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