HILLSBORO:   Softball short on depth, not talent

Staff writer

After a one-run loss to Lyons in the 3A regional championship last season, the Hillsboro softball team will aim to regain the state championship form it had in 2012.

“We dropped down to 2A, and there’s a lot of good teams in 2A,” head coach Stephanie Sinclair said. “So when it comes to that time of the year, we have our work cut out for us.”

Despite losing two seniors from last season, Sinclair said the team has quite a few talented players returning.

Starting shortstop Danae Bina is the team’s lone senior, but pitchers Allison Weber and Julie Sinclair, outfielders Emily Jost and Kennedy Lucero, and catchers/second basemen Bradli Nowak and Madison Klein are juniors. Sophomore Shannon Heiser will split time between first and third base.

“We’re pretty strong all the way up the middle, but our corners have got to get stronger,” Stephanie Sinclair said. “We’ve got to figure out what works best, because each time we switch pitchers they don’t play the same position otherwise.

Sinclair said it would be ideal to have a third pitcher in the rotation to balance the difference in Weber and Julie Sinclair’s styles, but the team will just have to adjust.

“We have a good pitching staff if we can play defense behind it,” she said. “We’ve got a lot of unsure things right now defensively.”

To play at a high level throughout the season, Sinclair said the team would have to stay injury-free, because there is not much depth behind the starters. She also added that it will be nice to play six home doubleheaders and only four away games. Last season the team played the opposite schedule.

“I’m excited for the girls,” she said. “We just take it day-by-day and try to use all of our strengths to be the best we can and improve our weaknesses.”

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