Monday was senior night at Hillcrest and the pressure was on for the Hornets to win. They were down by a single run from the second inning until the bottom of the sixth; in the end, though, Hansen came through to score a fitting, last minute, game winning run. The final score was 2-1, Hillcrest.
Hansen’s run can best be described as one of those on-the-edge-of-your-seat moments in softball. After hitting a single herself and rounding to third from a teammate’s hit, Hansen was run home by a hit from Jordan Adams. Adams connected with the ball, and popped it high into left field. The Lebanon leftfielder got right under the ball, but could not catch. She recovered but it was too late; Hansen was home a second before the ball made it to the plate.
With the exception of the excitement in the seventh inning, however, this game was mostly about solid fielding. Both the Hornets and the Yellowjackets performed well in the infield, and, almost all of the game’s fly balls were caught without error.
Lebanon played an almost flawless game on the field until the last two innings. Their shortstop, Arlena Armstrong, for instance, took catching flies to another level, even catching three line drives that came her way.
Hillcrest, although they made a few mistakes in the second inning, was also exemplary on the field. Only six Lebanon runners made it past Hansen at first base, and only Emily Sheets managed to score a run.
A lot of the credit for Hillcrest’s fielding goes to their pitcher, Sabrina Ross, who, in addition to striking out five batters, helped to coordinate plays by leading her teammates on the field.
“I was really nervous [about how close the score was] and I thought that a lot of those outs we weren’t going to get,” said Ross who, nonetheless, says she was confident in her team.
Hillcrest will face Willard tomorrow, October 2, at Willard’s field, while Lebanon will not play again until their district finals match against Rolla on October 3.
Hillcrest 2, Lebanon 1