ONTARIO — The Hillsboro softball team clinched a top-half finish in the Scenic Bluffs with a 9–8 victory at Brookwood last Thursday afternoon.
The Tigers scored four runs in the top of the first, three more in the top of the second and led 9–3 after 5 1/2 innings of play. But the Falcons (9–9, 4–8 SBC) made it a game scoring in each of their final three at-bats to put a scare in coach Bruce Borchardt’s Hillsboro club.
Alexis Seeley reached on an error with bases loaded to drive in the game’s first run, then Lydia Westedt ripped a bases loaded triple to make it 4–0. Seeley’s bases loaded single in the second made it 5–1, and Westedt followed with a two-run double to score Morgan Huntley and Brittany Borchardt.
Alexis Mathis added a two-run double in the fifth to push the Hillsboro lead to 9–3.
Brookwood cut into the deficit with a pair of two-out RBI hits by Alex Decker and Kate Hyatt in the bottom of the inning. The Falcons added another run in the sixth to make it 9–6.
Jolyne Stone led off the bottom of the seventh with a single, Ellen Marriott walked, and Decker reached on a Hillsboro’s fielding error. Hyatt singled to scored Stone, the Marriott scored on a wild pitch to make it a one-run game with zero outs.
Borchardt struck out the next batter, but then issued her fourth walk to again load the bases. The next batter hit it to Alexis Mathes who threw to home just in time for the force out to preserve the lead. Borchardt then induced a comebacker, which she flipped to Huntley at first to end the game.
Borchardt improved to 7–4 on the season with the complete game victory. She stuck out three and allowed eight runs, five earned on 12 hits in seven innings.
Saturday, the Tigers dropped a pair of games at the Ithaca Tournament to fall to 8–9 overall on the season.
The host Ithaca Bulldogs blanked the Tigers 7–0 in the semifinals, behind a two-hit, 10-strike out performance from Kaili Klaat.
Mackenzie Sullivan and Alexis Seeley had Hillsboro’s two hits.
Mathis (1–5) took the loss, allowing seven runs, six earned, on four hits and nine walks in four innings.
The Tigers then fell to Richland Center 7–3 in five innings in the consolation game.
Sam Knahle went 3-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored and an RBI to lead the Hornets.
Faith Smith went 2-for-3 and drove in a pair of runs.
Hillsboro took a 2–1 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Mathis led off with a walk and later scored on a passed ball.
Sullivan walked and came around to score on a single by Borchardt.
The Tigers (8–9, 7–6 SBC) will travel to Royall today to close out the regular season.
Hillsboro will open the WIAA Division 4 playoffs Tuesday. The WIAA will announce its first-round regional pairings later this week on its website (www.wiaawi.org).
Hillsboro 9, Brookwood 8
(from Thursday, May 12 @ Ontario)
Hillsboro 430 020 0 – 9 15 6
Brookwood 102 021 2 – 8 12 4
Leading hitters – H: Alexis Mathis 3x5, Mackenzie Sullivan 2x5, Lydia Westedt 2x4, Paige Rynes 2x3, Brookelyn Borchardt 2x3; B: Jolyne Stone 3x3, Lydia Madrigal 2x5, Kate Hyatt 2x4, Karina Hansen 2x4. 2B – H: Mathis, Westest; B: Madrigal.
W – Brittany Borchardt (7–4, 7IP, 12H, 8R, 5ER, 3K, 4BB). L – Amy Berg (7IP, 14H, 9R, 3ER, 3K, 2BB).
Ithaca 7, Hillsboro 0
(from Saturday, May 14 @ Ithaca)
Hillsboro 000 00 – 0 2 1
Ithaca 010 6x – 7 4 2
Leading hitters – I: Megan Burnley 2x3.
W – Kaili Klaat (5IP, 2H, 0R, 10K, 2BB). L – Alexis Mathis (1–4, 4IP, 4H, 7R, 6ER, 7K, 9BB).
Richland Center 7, Hillsboro 3
(from Saturday, May 14 @ Ithaca)
Rich. Center 103 03 – 7 9 1
Hillsboro 200 01 – 3 5 2
Leading hitters – RC: Sam Knahle 3x3, Hannah Pepich 2x2, Faith Smith 2x3; H: Alexis Mathis 3x3. 2B – H: Mathis, Morgan Huntley.
W – Julia Jones (5IP, 5H, 3R, 2ER, 3K, 2BB). L – Alexis Mathis (1–5, 2IP, 2H, 4R, 3ER, 2K, 5BB).