HILLMAN-If there's one positive the Hillman and Alcona softball teams can take away from Tuesday, it's that they were able to get outside and get a new season underway, if only for a little while.
The two sides managed to get three innings of play in before a light misty rain turned into a steady downpour and made the field unplayable, resulting in a 7-7 tie.
Athletic directors from both schools will talk to determine whether the game can be officially counted or if it will have to be made up along with the remainder of the scheduled doubleheader.
News Photo James Andersen
Hillman’s Alissa Jones prepares to bat during a softball game against Alcona on Tuesday at Hillman High School.
A triple from Kalen Tchorzynski in the bottom of the third inning accounted for the game's only hit and Tchorzynski was able to score on the play after a throwing error by Alcona to knot the game at seven.
Brice Kenyon then walked and got as far as third base before Alcona was able to end the inning.
Hillman coach Curt Tebo hoped to see more offense from his team was pleased with what he saw.
"I actually liked everything. The defense looked pretty good, we didn't hit too many balls, but it's too bad the weather (was) bad," Tebo said. "That's one thing I would've like to have seen, I was expecting us to come out and hit the ball, but oh well. It's the first game, we got a few innings in and it's nice to get outside again."
Hillman jumped out to a 5-0 after one inning thanks in part to five walks issued by Alcona's Kendra Cole. Kourtney Boldrey had an RBI on a bases-loaded walk and Kenyon added an RBI groundout.
Jensen Tchorzynski struck out the side for Hillman in the first inning and cruised through the first two innings before Alcona struck back with a seven-run third inning. While Tchorzynski issued six walks, Alcona was able to take advantage of some passed balls as it sent 10 batters to the plate. Cole and Marisa Hirschfelt each had an RBI after bases-loaded walks.
While Cole struggled early to find the strike zone, she gained momentum in the last two innings and earned several strikeouts, including one on Jensen Tchorzynski for what proved to be the final out.
"She held her own, she got real focused. With any pitcher, in any circumstance, they have to get in the zone to be successful and that's what she did," Alcona coach Ashlie O'Connor said She came back, she came back ready to pitch and she came out fierce."
With conditions being what they were on Tuesday, both coaches said it was important to focus on fundamentals in preparation for the long grind of a season ahead.
"It was good to get one under our belt. Each day starts with objectives and we understand that fundamentals will win games," O'Connor said. "It's good to see that we're playing together, this is our third or fourth time outside this year, so it's nice to get to experience."
Alcona will host Mio on Thursday while Hillman will host Johannesburg-Lewiston.
James Andersen can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.