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Hilburn, Canyon dominate showdown with Villa Park
VILLA PARK - Great competition brings out the best in star players; competition against friends can bring out that much more.
For Canyon senior Hailey Hilburn, Villa Park is a foe with a roster full of friends, and the pitcher made sure she brought her A-game when she faced the Spartans on Thursday.
Hilburn had a no-hitter through four innings and struck out 11 to lead the third-ranked Comanches to a resounding 9-2 victory over the No. 10 Spartans in a nonleague game at Villa Park High.
“There was a little bit of hometown pride coming into play,” Canyon coach Dan Hay explained. “She has a lot of friends in the other dugout, so she wanted to put on a performance.”
What a performance it was.
Hilburn confused the Spartans (10-6) with her change-up and didn’t give up her first hit until the fifth inning. She retired the side in order four consecutive times.
“It’s a great way to end the senior year for me because I love playing here,” Hilburn said.
By the fourth inning, the Comanches (14-5) had a five-run lead sparked by Paulina Anasis’ first-inning solo home run and third-inning double that scored two.
A Canyon error in the fifth gave Villa Park its first base runner and Spartans senior Amanda Beltran took advantage with an RBI double that scored the Spartans’ first run. Cassidy Meyer drove in the second run of the inning with an infield single.
Villa Park junior pitcher Krista Dalgarn struggled at times find the umpire’s strike zone. She finished with seven strikeouts and six walks.