Houchlei's 12th Inning Grand Slam Saves Hanners 23 Strikeout Gem


Wednesday was one of those games that great teams need during a special season. After being held to one hit and no runs in the first 11 innings of April 17th's game against Alton Marquette, Hillsboro somehow found a way to steal away a 4-0 victory, doing so  in dramatic fashion.

After getting just one hit, a sixth inning single by Meagan Jorn, against Marquette ace Taylor Whitehead, Hillsboro was looking to make something happen in the top of the 12th.

After the leadoff batter popped up to first, Haley Major walked for Hillsboro's first base runner since the eighth inning, when Alexis Wolf drew a two-out walk. After Major stole second, Marquette would chose to intentionally walk Katie Schaake, while Kai Hanner would draw the third base on balls of the inning to load the bases.

The Explorers would get the second out of the inning on a fielder's choice from Whitehead to home plate that kept Major from scoring, but Shelby Houchlei would make sure the rally wouldn't be all for nothing.

With the outfield playing in to cut down a potential run, Houchlei drove a shot over the rightfielder's head and circled the bases for an inside the park grand slam.

The only thing left to do for the Toppers was to close out the game, with ace Kai Hanner drawing that assignment in her 12th inning of work.

The Explorers had runners in scoring position in the eighth, ninth, tenth and 11th, but Hanner had kept the hosts off the board, striking out 22 batters in the process.

The senior hurler would get strikeout number 23 to start the top of the 12th, then coaxed a pop up to third for the second out. Jada Johnson would walk to give the Explorers hope, but a ground ball to Haley Major at third base turned into the final out of the improbable win.

 The loss was just the fourth of the season for Marquette, whose other defeats came against Columbia, Edwardsville and Southwestern, who Hillsboro will face in their final home game of the season on May 3.

But first, the Toppers will face another South Central Conference foe as they travel to Staunton on Tuesday, April 23, to take on the Lady Bulldogs.

April 17 at Alton

Hillsboro 000000000004 4 2 2

Marquette 000000000000 0 6 0

Pitching Statistics

Hillsboro IP R ER H K BB

W-Hanner 12 0 0 6 23 2 

Marquette IP R ER H K BB

L-Whitehead 12 4 4 2 18 4 

Batting Statistics

Multiple Hits: Marquette - Whitehead (2-5). 2B: Marquette - Whitehead 1,  Green 1. HR: Hillsboro - Shelby Houchlei 1.

Records: Hillsboro (17-2); Marquette (12-4).

Hillsboro Wins Two At Spring Slam

After Thursday and Friday's games were called off due to wet grounds, the Hillsboro softball team finally made it back onto the field on Saturday, April 20, for the rescheduled Spring Slam at the UIS Softball Complex in Springfield.

The Toppers would go 2-1 in their three games, beating PORTA 8-2 and Lanphier 19-0, with a 6-2 loss to Tri-City sandwiched in between.

In the win over PORTA, Hillsboro jumped out in front with three runs in the first and never looked back. Haley Major would lead off the game with a double and took third on a wild pitch. After a walk and a steal by Katie Schaake, Kai Hanner singled to score the first run of the game.

PORTA would get a break with a 6-4 double play that erased Hanner off the base paths, but Shelby Houchlei would double to score Schaake and Alexis Wolf singled to drive in Houchlei and make it a 3-0 ball game.

In the second, Hillsboro added to their lead with a single by Claire Tester and a RBI single by Hanner to make it 4-0.

The Toppers would threaten again in the third inning, but didn't score again until the fourth, when they plated four more runs. Again it was Major to start things off as she singled, stole second and moved to third on an error.

After the first out of the inning, Hanner reached on an error and Major scored to make it 5-0. Sheridan Lyerla would single and take second on a steal, with both she and Hanner scoring on a triple by Houchlei to make it 7-0. Chloe Beck would drive in the final run of the frame with a sacrifice fly to center that made it 8-0.

PORTA would get a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth, but Katie Schaake would pitch a 1-2-3 inning in the fifth to close out the game, which was called after that inning due to the time limit.

Schaake would strike out five and walk none in the victory, with just one earned run.

Shelby Houchlei would go 3-for-3 with two runs scored, three driven in and two extra-base hits. Kai Hanner would also have three hits and two RBIs, while Alexis Wolf and Sheridan Lyerla added two hits apiece.

Hillsboro vs. Tri-City

In their second game, Hillsboro would give 17-1 Tri-City all they could handle before four late runs led to a 6-2 victory.

The Tornadoes would score two runs on a RBI double by Taylor Page in the bottom of the first, but Hillsboro rallied to tie the game with solo runs in the second and third, with Shelby Houchlei and Katie Schaake scoring the runs.

It looked as if Hillsboro would take the lead in the third inning when Chloe Beck was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, but the play was ruled a foul ball and Tri-City got a double play to end the inning.

The game would remain tied until the bottom of the fifth, when Tri-City scored four runs on four hits and a walk to take the lead for good.

Hillsboro would get Shelby Houchlei on in the top of the sixth, the final inning due to the time limit, but two strikeouts and a fielder's choice would end the threat and the game.

Houchlei would have three of Hillsboro's seven hits as she drove in a run and scored a run. Tri-City would have one fewer hit than the Toppers, but had three doubles, including two in the fifth inning.

Kai Hanner would take the tough luck loss, striking out 11 in the effort. Daleny Chumbley earned the win for the Tornadoes, scattering seven singles and striking out seven while walking none.

Hillsboro vs. Lanphier

Any frustration from their third loss of the year was let out in the Toppers' final game as they scored 19 runs in the first inning to blow out the Lions of Lanphier.

All nine Toppers would score the first time through the line-up, which featured just one hit, five walks, two hit batters and an error. The one hit was a good one though as Kai Hanner hit a two-run home run that made it 3-0 at the time.

The second time through the order was nearly as productive as Hillsboro scored eight more runs, with Lanphier finally getting their first out after 13 batters. Again there was just one Hillsboro hit, a three-run double by Hanner, as Lanphier walked two and hit four, with Chloe Beck also reaching on an error.

Five players would make it through the order a third time, including Hanner, who hit her second home run of the inning to give her eight RBIs in the first frame.

After the 19-run first, Hillsboro would go down in order in the second, but Shelby Houchlei was rolling on the mound by that point. The junior hurler allowed just three base runners in the three inning game, one on a single in the first, another on a walk in the second and a third on an error in the third. She would close out the game with three straight strikeouts, giving her five for the game.

Hanner had all three of Hillsboro's hits in the game, but the Lady Toppers were walked eight times and hit six times to give them plenty of base runners.

Now 19-3 on the season, Hillsboro will look for magic number 20 on Tuesday, April 23, as they travel to Staunton to face the Lady Bulldogs.

April 20 at Springfield

Hillsboro 310 40 8 14 3

PORTA 000 20 2 4 3

Pitching Statistics

Hillsboro IP R ER H K BB

W-Schaake 5 2 1 4 5 0 


L-Tiemeyer 5 8 3 14 4 2

Batting Statistics

Multiple Hits: Hillsboro - Shelby Houchlei (3-3, 2R, 3RBI), Kai Hanner (3-4, 1R, 2RBI), Alexis Wolf (2-3, 1RBI), Sheridan Lyerla (2-4, 1R). 2B: Hillsboro - Haley Major 1, Kai Hanner 1, Shelby Houchlei 1; PORTA - Kassidy Johnson 1, Hannah Carlock 1. 3B: Hillsboro - Shelby Houchlei 1.

Records: Hillsboro (18-2); PORTA (10-6).

April 20 at Springfield

Hillsboro 011 000 2 7 1

Tri-City 200 04x 6 6 2

Pitching Statistics

Hillsboro IP R ER H K BB

W-Hanner 5 6 4 6 11 2 

Tri-City IP R ER H K BB

L-Chumbley 6 2 1 7 7 0 

Batting Statistics

Multiple Hits: Hillsboro - Shelby Houchlei (3-3, 1R, 1RBI). 2B: Tri-City - Ashlyn Morlock 1, Taylor Page 1, Grace Blair 1.

Records: Hillsboro (18-3), Tri-City (17-1).

April 20 at Springfield

Lanphier 000 0 1 3

Hillsboro (19)0x 19 3 1

Pitching Statistics

Hillsboro IP R ER H K BB

W-Houchlei 3 0 0 1 5 1 

Batting Statistics

Multiple Hits: Hillsboro - Kai Hanner (3-3, 3R, 8RBI). 2B: Hillsboro - Kai Hanner 1. HR: Hillsboro - Kai Hanner 2.

Records: Hillsboro (19-3).


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