Hillis crosses up Lady Blue Devils in Crossover play
JayHawks avenge only loss of season
By John Bernhardt
Jordyn Hillis was on a mission. The Jefferson sophomore was determined to avenge her team’s only Delaware League loss, a 6-5 early-season setback to Margaretville earlier in the spring. Only this time, Hillis and her JayHawks were battling the Blue Devils in the Delaware League Crossover Championship.
Hillis was magnificent. The hard-throwing sophomore tossed up an 11-strikeout, one-hit shutout as the JayHawks ripped Margaretville, 7-0. Sarah Batka’s first-inning single was the only blemish to an otherwise perfect outing.
For four innings Thursday, the championship game was a preview of softball showdowns sure-to-come in the future. Hillis was locked in a scoreless pitching duel with another sophomore, Margaretville’s Karli Tait. The dueling sophomores are likely to tangle several times throughout their careers.
But, it was all JayHawks late in the championship game on Thursday. Jefferson exploded to score five times in the fifth. With Hillis throwing pellets from the mound that was more than enough firepower for the Mountain Division champions.
A base-on-balls to Katie Bedford opening the fifth got the rally started. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, Kenzie Manning replaced Bedford as a pinch runner. Manninng moved to third when Dove Henry blooped a single to center, then scored on Miranda Blakeslee’s infield grounder.
Blakeslee skipped a grounder that Margaretville’s Erica Faulkner fielded cleanly. The Blue Devils’ shortstop fired a strike to catcher Caitlyn Roberts who appeared to have the plate blocked but Manning was called safe in an either-way-call. Henry and Blakeslee advanced to third and second on the play.
Chelsea Martin’s single to left-center scored both runners.