Marion High School head softball coach Chad Adkins remarked that the difference between the Warriors and Hillsboro is consistency and experience.
“There’s no way to sugar coat it,” Adkins said. “You just can’t come out and play 20 games a year.”
There were flashes of brilliance Friday from Marion against Hillsboro in Hillsboro. After catching a fly ball in right center field, Annie Whitaker threw out Hillsboro runner Madison Klein at the plate to end the first inning of the first game.
Whitaker added an RBI triple in the second game, her second hit of the game.
JayDee Schafers made a spectacular diving catch on a pop up in foul territory behind her position at catcher.
Those plays were overshadowed, though. Hillsboro scored 16 runs in the first inning of the first game. The Trojans eventually won, 18-1.
In the second game, four errors in the first inning spotted Hillsboro four unearned runs. Marion battled back in the third inning with two runs from Megan Richmond and Whittaker to make the score 4-3.
“Do you believe you can now?” Adkins asked his team after the inning. “Get out there and compete.”
The Warriors were within two runs but an error in the fourth inning allowed runners to advance and three runs eventually scored. Two walks, a hit batter, and an error allowed Hillsboro to score five runs in the fifth and end the game at 14-4.
“They play really hard,” Adkins said. “They have what it takes, but if you don’t play consistently, you don’t win.”