The Hillsboro junior varsity softball team kept its season-long unbeaten streak alive, and in doing so, won the Festus Tiger Cub Classic on Saturday at Sunset Park. The Hawks won three game en route to the championship, and improved their record to 15-0 on the season.
“The girls played great,” said coach Will Kiehne. “Looking back through the box scores, I can’t single out one girl…from top to bottom they all had a great day. We had great defense, impressive hitting, and stellar pitching. It was a fun day.”
Not so much fun for the opponents though. The Hawks ripped through the opposition, beginning with the host Tigers early Saturday morning. Despite the nine runs scored by the Tigers, the Hawks scored 26! Hillsboro actually fell behind 3-0 in the top of the first inning, but four runs in the first, and four more in the second gave the Hawks an 8-4 lead after two innings Then Hillsboro scored nine runs in the third and seven more in the fourth to put the game away.
The Hawks had 13 hits and were helped by six Tigers errors and eight walks. Ashlynn Dean led the way with three hits and four RBI. She had two doubles. Ryleigh Hindle, Sara Stokes, Hailey Genge, and Maya LaPlante each had two hits. Stokes drove in four runs and had a double and a triple. Hindle also had a double and a triple, while Genge had two triples. LaPlante got in on the fun with a double as well. Avery Dean had a hit and three RBI, while Nicole Evans had one safety and four RBI.
Avery Dean was the winning pitcher as she gave up nine runs on 12 hits.
The next game saw Hillsboro take down Jackson 12-5 in a semifinal game. The Hawks never trailed, scoring seven runs in the first inning. Genge went three-for-three with three RBI, a double, and a home run. Kora King collected two hits and drove home two and had a double. Ellie Bartlett also had two hits with a double and an RBI. Alex Wick was the winning pitcher, going all five innings allowing five runs on five hits. She struck out three and walked one.
The championship game saw the only two remaining unbeaten teams facing each other in Hillsboro and Windsor. Again, the Hawks jumped out on top early. With one out in the first inning, Stokes doubled, and scored on an error. Bartlett would reach on an error, steal a base, and score on another error. Same story for Genge, and the Hawks were up 3-0.
Windsor cut the lead to one in the third inning with the aid of two hits and a walk. But Hillsboro responded with two more runs in the fourth inning. Wick, after singling, scored on a King double. Evans scored on that same double after reaching on a fielder’s choice, and Hillsboro was up 5-2.
The Hawks ended the game, by all accounts, with four runs in the fifth inning. Bartlett led off the inning with a home run. Another big hit was a two run double by King. Another run scored on a passed ball, and Hillsboro led 9-2. The Owls added a run in the seventh, but it was too little, too late, as the Hawks took the trophy, winning 9-3.
King was three-for-three with four RBI. Stokes had two hits, and Bartlett and Wick had one hit apiece. Wick took the win in the circle, striking out three and allowing ten hits.
The Hawks and Owls will meet again on Monday. The two teams will battle at Hillsboro at approximately 6:00 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Lori Wick