Late rally helps Tigers sweep J-L

HILLMAN-The Hillman softball team has been hitting the ball well all week.

But with the second game of a doubleheader on the line on Friday, the Tigers stepped up at the plate when it mattered most.

Hillman erupted for six runs in the sixth inning of the nightcap, breaking a 6-6 tie with more than enough offense to defeat Johannesburg-Lewiston 12-6. Hillman also won the first game 15-0 in three innings. In all, Hillman had 27 hits on the day.

After struggling in the opener, the Cardinals fared better in the second game and 6-4 lead in the top of the fourth inning after a two-run inside-the-park home run.

Jensen Tchorzynski had a sac fly in the bottom of the inning to make it 6-5 and in the fifth inning Bryce Kenyon had a sac fly to tie the game.

That set the stage for the sixth inning where the Tigers (4-0) pounded out six hits and got big contributions from the heart of its order. Courtney Sauer had a two-run double and Vanessa Schook later added a two-run single. Kalen Tchorzynski and Jensen also had RBI hits.

“In the past we’ve kind of stalled, but to have them come back and rally and start getting the bats going and driving in those runs and getting those hits was phenomenal,” Hillman coach Curt Tebo said. “That’s what I’ve been looking for all day long.”

Jensen had three hits and four RBIs adding to an already big day that saw her hit two home runs in the opener. Kalen and Sauer each had three hits and Alyssa Ableidinger had two hits.

Joburg took a quick 2-0 in the top of the first inning, but Hillman answered back with four runs in its first trip to the plate. Jensen had a two-run double and later scored on a passed ball. Ableidinger later singled to score Alissa Jones.

Kalen started for Hillman, allowing six runs and six hits with a strikeout in four innings. Jensen came on in relief and allowed just one hit in the final three innings.

Jensen was masterful in the opener, allowing just one run, walking two and striking out six. She had more than enough offense to back her up and helped her own cause with three hits and four RBIs.

Hillman put seven runs on the board in the first inning as Jones, Ableidinger and Schook all came through with RBI hits during the stretch and the Tigers were also helped by several passed balls.

The Tigers also showed they can hit well in the clutch as they tacked on four runs with two outs.

“I saw a lot better batting; a lot better swings, a lot more confidence at the plate. That’s the big thing I’ve seen,” Tebo said. “One through nine is capable of getting that big hit at any time and that’s what we’re gearing up for right now.”

After a quiet second inning, Jensen hit a solo shot to center field as part of a three-run third inning for Hillman. After Morgan Dove singled and Eden Hunt walked to start the fourth inning, Jensen went yard again as her second home run gave Hillman a 13-0 lead.

Ableidinger had a two-run single later in the inning to give Hillman the win by mercy rule. She finished the game with three hits and three RBIs.

Sauer had two hits and Jones had two RBIs.

Joburg stranded three runners in the game, twice leaving a runner on third base in each of the last two innings.

Hillman hosts Mio on Monday.

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.