Hill College softball finishes season with playoff appearance

  Jessyca Brown
  Wednesday, May 11, 2022 10:17 AM

Hillsboro, TX

The Hill College Lady Rebels softball team ended their 2022 season with a Region V playoff appearance—their first since 2018. The team played two rounds on the first day of the tournament, losing to Temple (8-0) before ending their playoff run with a loss to Grayson (6-0).

But head coach Allora Miller, who is in her second year leading the program, said she is proud of her team for battling all season to get here.

“There is never a series in our conference that is handed to us,” Miller said. “We have a very talented conference, and any game could go any direction. It’s been stressful, but so exciting. It came down to the very last week to secure our spot in the conference tournament—that is how close it was between teams.”

Miller said despite a tough fall schedule and injuries that led to four red shirts, the Lady Rebels really stepped up this season.

“Many players had to step up into roles that were unexpected but have really excelled,” she said. “We are also a very young and inexperienced team. We played a tough fall schedule against some very talented division two schools and non-conference schedule early in the spring to help get us there. They have really leaned on each other and taken a lot of pride in this program. It’s about creating a culture for our freshmen and leaving a legacy for our sophomores.”

Miller also applauded her young team’s efforts at bat and on the mound.

“We have had a really strong pitching staff this year,” she said. “They are all freshmen, and it has been hard facing region five hitters. But they continued to show up every day. Our hitters worked so hard day in and day out to help support them as well. For our team, it’s about competing in the batter’s box and finding those moments to break through.”

Hill College was among eight teams competing in the tournament, which took place Thursday, May 5, through Sunday, May 8, at Weatherford College. The tournament used a double-elimination format. The winner, which was McLennan Community College this year, earns a bid to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division I tournament in Yuma, Arizona.

The Lady Rebels finished sixth in the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference (NTJCAC) with a 13-19 conference record and 23-33 overall regular season record.

“This was such an awesome experience,” Miller said of her team’s playoff appearance. “This is my first since being at Hill College, and I’m just so grateful to get to experience this with these young women. I am so glad they can see why we put in all the work and hours that we do for these moments. I hope they soaked up every moment and learned from it.”

Miller said the playoff appearance is a huge milestone for the program and wouldn’t be possible without support from the college and community.

“We want to thank everyone who has helped with our success this season,” she said. “From the growth in our facilities, to the support of our faculty and staff at Hill College, to our president Dr. Boehm who has been such an inspiration for these young women in what she has achieved, to our bus driver who has loved these young women like her own, to our trainer who has cared for this team, and to our fans for their continued support through everything. We wouldn’t be here today without all of their contributions. I am so proud of the young women, students, and athletes they have grown into.”

For more information about the Hill College softball program, please contact Miller at amiller@hillcollege.edu or call her at 254-659-7971. 

2022 Hill College Softball Roster

1 – Kelsey Creech, freshman OF

2 – Allie Wheeler, sophomore 2B

3 – Madison Gerik, sophomore 1B

4 – Savannah Pepperell, freshman OF

5 – Mallory Stone, freshman MINF

6 – Lindsey Ratcliffe, sophomore OF

7 – Katy Ivy, freshman P

8 – Ellena Munoz, sophomore OF

9 – Jazzmyn Rodriguez, sophomore MINF

10 – Chloe Randall, freshman P/OF

11 – Brooke Schmidt, freshman P/INF

12 – Katie Henson, sophomore C/1B

13 – Lexi Wheeler, sophomore OF

14 – Jayce Bolin, freshman UT

15 – Bridgette Montes, sophomore UT

16 – Hannah King, freshman P/INF

17 – Victoria Gonzalez, freshman INF

18 – Eileigh Whyte, freshman INF

19 – Hadlee Patrick, sophomore SS/UT

20 – Abigail Thomas, sophomore P

21 – Mackenzie Duckworth, freshman C/INF

22 – Ashley Monks, freshman C/3B

24 – McKenna Meadors, freshman P/1B

28 – Grace Valois, freshman C/INF

Head Coach – Allora Miller

Assistant Coaches – Tye Watts, Kenneth Stevens