A year after losing five one-run games, Hillsboro softball coach Mike Burch put an emphasis on winning the close ones this year.
Last Thursday night Burch’s Tigers rallied from a 10–4 sixth-inning deficit to pull out an 11–10 win over visiting New Lisbon on junior shortstop Destiny’s Shore two-out, walk off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning.
It was the season-opener for both teams.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of these girls for their resiliency, they never gave up,” said Burch. “The errors which we committed were mostly mental and hopefully an easy fix as they gain experience in new positions.”
Shore went 3-for-4 with a walk in the win.
Senior catcher Shania Landsinger walked and later scored the game-winning run on Shore’s single. Landsinger went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks and scored three runs in the game.
Hillsboro scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull within a run at 10–9.
Junior first baseman Morgan Huntley had a key two-run triple in the sixth-inning rally.
Freshman outfielder Sydney Johnson hit a three-run homer in her first varsity at-bat to tie the game 3–3 in the bottom of the first inning.
Hillsboro took a brief lead with a run in the bottom of the second, but the Rockets scored three in the third and three more in the fifth to make it 9–4.
“We had a couple of girls thrown out on the bases that I have to take all of the credit for,” said Burch. “Bunting is a real concern. We had several opportunities to move runners up into scoring position and we did not execute a single bunt in the game. Other than that, offensively I was very happy with the way we hit the ball hard.”
Junior Brittany Borchardt battled through seven innings in the pitching circle to earn the win for Hillsboro. She allowed 10 runs, six earned, on seven hits. She struck out two, walked seven and hit four batters.
Abigail Washetas took the loss for New Lisbon allowing 11 runs, eight earned on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings pitched. She struck out four and walked six.
Hillsboro 12, Necedah 7
Monday afternoon Hillsboro improved to 2–0 on the young season with a 12–7 win at Necedah.
Borchardt (2–0) picked up her second win of the season, striking out six and walking five, while allowing seven runs on eight hits.
The Tigers knocked around Necedah freshman Isabell Negaard to the tune of 12 runs on 10 hits and 11 walks.
“The umpire had a very tight strike zone which Brittany handled well,” said Burch. “Negaard had 11 walks, but I would say with a different official behind the plate. She would have had a much better night. I have to give our girls credit for taking some very close pitches and earning those walks.”
The Tigers scored twice in the top of the first and four times in the second to build a quick 6–1 lead.
Junior Lexi Mathis hit a three-run inside-the-park home run to highlight the four-run second inning.
Junior outfielder Mackenzie Sullivan was 2-for-2 with a double and three walks. Senior third baseman Sierra Hanke went 2-for-3.
Michaela Horak, Lindsey Murphy and Angel Pintero each had two hits for the Cardinals (0–1, 0–1 SBC).
Hillsboro (2–0, 2–0) will host Bangor today, weather permitting, before traveling to the Richland Center tournament on Saturday. The Tigers are scheduled to host Cashton on Monday.