Double wins for Hillman

HILLMAN-Though its still early in the season, the Hillman softball team doesn’t seem to be having any problems hitting the ball.

The Tigers pounded out nearly three dozen hits en route to a sweep of Oscoda on Tuesday, beating the Owls 15-0 (four innngs) and 13-3 (five innings) in a North Star League doubleheader.

Hillman (5-5) trailed briefly in the nightcap, but only had one inning on the day where it failed to score.

“I was (pleased), especially the second game. We started off a little rough, but the pitcher kept her head in there and we got the bats going,” Hillman coach Rich Price said. “That’s what I was hoping to see, when the chips where down how were they going to start playing and that was good to see.”

Hillman trailed 2-0 after one inning in the second game, but cut the lead to 2-1 in the second inning and took control of the game from there.

In the third inning, RBI hits from Morgan Dove and Kalen Tchorzynski gave Hillman a 3-2 lead. In their next trip to the plate, the Tigers piled on six runs as 11 batters combined for five RBI hits.

Hillman continued scoring in the fifth inning, tacking on four more runs for the win. Tchorzynski and Vanessa Schook had RBI singles and two more runs scored on an outfield error.

Dove had three hits, two RBI and scored three runs; Tchorzynski had three hits, three RBI and scored once; Morgan Armon had three hits and an RBI and scored twice; Kristen Kenyon had two hits and two RBI and Schook and Eve LaFleche each had two hits and an RBI.

Oscoda got to Dove early as Briannah Conly and Lanaya Hoover each collected RBI singles to give the Owls a 2-0 lead.

The Owls added one more run in the fifth inning as Conly singled to score Katie Cox, but they were largely held in check by Hillman after the first inning. Dove pitched a complete game for the win, allowing three runs on four hits with seven strikeouts.

Hillman didn’t wait long to get things going in the opener, scoring seven runs on five hits as 11 batters made a plate appearance.

“They’re starting to click again (offensively). When you’re in the gym in the spring, you hit off machines and machines and machines and then you get to this live pitching and it’s a different animal,” Price said. “Our girls can live pitch to them somewhat, but they’re starting to get a rhythm and it’s good to see, top to bottom.”

Tchorzynski kicked off the scoring by knocking in Schook and Dove with a single and Kenyon and Eve LaFleche came through with two-run doubles before the inning ended.

Tchorzynski finished the game with four hits, including a solo home run to center field in the third inning that gave the Tigers a 12-0 lead.

Hillman added four runs in the second inning, two in the third and three more in the fourth to end the game after four innings.

Kenyon had three hits and five RBI; Armon and Schook each had two hits and an RBI; Dove had two hits and LaFleche had two RBI.

Schook earned the win on the mound, allowing just one hit while striking out eight.

After a solid showing at a tournament in Rogers City over the weekend and two wins on Tuesday, Price is hopeful his team will continue to play at a high level, especially with a great deal of talent on this year’s roster.

“Now that I know what they can do, I expect it out of them,” Price said. “We’re still taking it one game at a time, but I expect them to play at a higher level and they expect it out of themselves too.”

Hillman hosts its 16th annual Booster Tournament on Saturday and will open against Au Gres at 9 a.m.

James Andersen can be reached via email at sports@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5694. Follow James on Twitter @ja_alpenanews.