MOUNDRIDGE — The Inman girls advanced to the finals of the Class 2-1A Regional Softball Tournament Tuesday, but ran into some strong Hillsboro pitching.
The Teutons, who had outlasted Moundridge 2-0 in the semifinals, lost 7-0 in the championship game to No. 1-seed Hillsboro.
Here is a summary:
• Inman 2, Moundridge 0 — Inman’s Kristen Knackstedt threw a four-hit shutout, walking two and fanning five to end the Wildcats’ season. Inman had lost three previous meetings to the Wildcats.
Hope Wedel matched Knackstedt pitch-for-pitch until the sixth inning when the Teutons scored to make it 1-0. They added a run in the seventh for insurance.
Both pitchers were terrific. Wedel gave up only five hits in seven innings and both runs were unearned. She struck out five.
Knackstedt and Vanessa Ediger drove in runs. Baylie Blouin had two hits for Moundridge, which finished the year 13-8.
“This was a tough way to end the season for us,” Moundridge coach Clark Wedel said. “Once again we were in a pitchers dual against Inman. Hope Wedel pitched an excellent game for us as she only allowed five hits in seven innings. We had been fortunate enough to win all three of our previous meetings with Inman, so this is a tough one to swallow. Offensively, we just didn't produce enough run-scoring opportunities for our team. You really have to give their pitcher (Knackstedt) credit as she held us to only four hits in the game. Once we have a little time to reflect we will still look back at the season and know we had a pretty good season. I really appreciate our players efforts throughout the year. They work hard and will continue to improve.”
• Hillsboro 7, Inman 0 — Julie Sinclair, one-half of Hillsboro’s dynamic 1-2 pitching punch, overwhelmed the Teutons with a 17-strikeout performance. Knackstedt did her best to stay up, but the strain of 16 1/3 innings perhaps caught up with her.
Hillsboro, now 20-2 and an 8-3 winner over Sterling in the earlier semifinal game, scored two runs in each of the first two innings and then put the game out of reach with three runs in the sixth.
Sinclair gave up only two hits, one a double to Courtney Jenkins. Inman finished a solid year with a 14-9 record.
Hillsboro is expected to contend for state honors along with two-time defending champion Chase County, Ell-Saline and Udall.