Huskies Power Up

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The craziness spilled over when Jenna Sands of Highland slammed her second hit of the game toward the Hillcrest Academy outfield.

Two teammates sprinted home with the Huskies’ ninth and 10th runs of the game.

Then, the Huskies quickly realized something and started to celebrate. Game over.

Highland began its journey in the Class 1A softball tournament on Monday night at home with a 13-1 victory. And no inning illustrated the Huskies’ power more than the third inning, when the lineup was on its second way around the lineup in the same inning when the mercy rule was invoked.

Highland scored 10 runs in the third inning, finishing the shortened game with 13 runs and 12 hits.

Sands was one of four Huskies with multiple hits, led by three hits apiece by Abbi Stransky and Mackinze Hora.

“We knew what we needed to do,” said Highland head coach Carrie Wieland. “We put the ball on the right side and scored those runs.”

The offensive display featured the first three Highland batters in the third inning reaching base on singles, including Carson Mellinger on a bunt single. A fly ball scored a run, then Sands drove in a run with her first single of the inning. After a popout, eight consecutive Highland batters reached base.

It all had to be a bit dizzying for Hillcrest pitcher Leah Bontrager and rest of the Ravens, who were seeking their first win of the season.

“They put pressure on you offensively,” Hillcrest coach Kent Blossom said.

The victory sent Highland to the second round of the Region 8 tournament on Wednesday night against Lone Tree. The semifinals are Friday in Lisbon and the regional title game is scheduled for July 20.

Stransky, a freshman catcher, drove in three runs and had one of two doubles for the Huskies.

“She’s a team player,” Wieland said. “Comes from a great family.”

Also driving in three runs was Sands. Dani Laughlin, another freshman entered the game with a .592 batting average and delivered two hits, including a double.

Highland pitcher Grace Batcheller struck out three. Her only mistake was giving up a long home run to Hillcrest’s Mia Graber in the third inning.

In Highland’s game played last week:

 

July 8

Highland 10

Mediapolis 6

The Huskies prepped for the tournament by defeating Mediapolis in their final regular-season game.

Dani Laughlin, a freshman, led Highland’s 15-hit attack, totaling four hits and scoring four times. She also had three stolen bases.

The Huskies scored three runs in the opening inning, two runs in the second inning and four runs in the fourth to grab a 9-3 lead.

Mackinze Hora had three hits and drove in two runs for Highland.

Freshman pitcher Jessica Kraus had seven strikeouts in just 2.2 innings.

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