By: Nate Calvin
DEFIANCE-As Hilltop continues to add to their record setting season win total, the Cadets added another piece of history to their softball program.
After falling behind early 2-0, Hilltop responded with three runs in the second to grab the lead and go onto the school’s first ever win in the regional semifinals.
Mohawk struck first in the bottom of the first after retiring the Cadets in order in the top of the first with a double by Bailey Sheets and then a two-run homer from Aubrie Harper to take a 2-0 lead.
Hilltop would get on the board in the top of the second as Lana Baker reached base on an error and Leanna Baker doubled after Kacy Connolly struck out to drive in her sister and make it 2-1.
Back-to-back errors by Mohawk on hits by Joscelyn Layman and Alex Horton scored Leanna Baker to tie the game 2-2.
Hannah Riley then put the Cadets in front with an RBI groundout to score Layman from third and give Hilltop a 3-2 lead.
Hilltop threatened in the third inning as Lana Baker singled and Connolly doubled with two outs but Warriors pitcher Bailey Sheets would get Leanna Baker to strikeout swinging to keep the score 3-2.
The fourth inning saw Hilltop put another run on the board as Horton smacked a one-out double and Riley (2-4, 2 RBIs) then singled to right to increase the lead to 4-2.
Mohawk opened their half of the fourth with a solo home run by Joslyn Eader (2-4, 2 RBIs) to cut the Hilltop advantage to 4-3 and Alysen Young reached on an error.
Hilltop pitcher Kodi Brenner buckled down then to get a pair of strikeouts and after walking Tori Phillips she would get Sheets to hit into a fielder’s choice to end the inning.
Lana Baker (2-4) singled to center to start the fifth and after advancing to second on a passed ball she would go to third on a single by Connolly.
Connolly moved to second on a passed ball and then an error by the Mohawk pitcher allowed Baker and Connolly to score and stretch the lead to 6-3.
Mohawk battled back with RBI singles in the fifth and sixth inning to trim the Hilltop lead to 6-5 entering the seventh.
After a strikeout by Connolly to start the inning Leanna Baker (2-4) tripled off the fence in right and she would score on a groundout by Layman to give the Cadets a much needed insurance run.
Brenner retired the Warriors in order in their final at bat as she would get a groundout, line out, and a pop out to Horton at second base to end the game.
Hilltop collected 11 hits on the day and were the beneficiaries of five Mohawk errors which led to only two of the seven Hilltop runs being earned.
Hilltop (28-3) will take on New Riegel in Defiance at 3pm on Saturday as they look for the school’s first ever trip to state in softball.
SCORE BY INNINGS R H E
Hilltop 030 120 1 7 11 2
Mohawk 200 111 0 5 7 5
Nate can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org