By Will Willems
The Zionsville softball team showed once again that they could hang with some of the best teams in the state Friday night when they faced sixth-ranked Hamilton Southeastern in the sectional final.
But in the end, the Eagles fell just short of the final 16, losing to the Royals 4-1.
“One half inning did us in,” Zionsville head coach Lori Esparza said. “Alea Hocutt got hurt at first and it kind of effected the momentum in the game. HSE is always a tough team. I am really proud of our whole team and for our seniors for giving it their all on the way out.”
Zionsville struck first, scoring a run in the top of the first inning.
Bri Wagner led off the game with a single and Cheryl Hill followed with a walk.
Kenzie Anderson followed with a grounder that Royal first baseman Bailey Rager fielded and stepped on first. She then tried to get Wagner at third but the throw got away and Wagner scored.
But after that, Zionsville only had one base runner the rest of the game.
“At the end of the day, we have a young team and they came out with a lot of confidence,” Esparza said. “That showed early in our spark. At the end of the game, I think they started second guessing themselves and it got to us at the end.”
The lead stayed until the bottom of the third inning.
The game changed with the first batter of the half inning. Roni Patterson grounded out to third and as she crossed the base collided with Hocutt.
Hocutt injured her left shoulder on the play and was down for 10-15 minutes as she was attended to and had to leave the game.
For more of this story, read Saturday's Lebanon Reporter.