BURLINGTON — It took Breon Michel two full seasons to hit 35 home runs, the most any Indian Hills softball player has ever hit in two years with the program.
Brooke Snider needed just one day to move within striking distance of that mark. The reigning ICCAC softball player of the year opened her sophomore season for the eighth-ranked Warriors blasting five home runs in two games helping Indian Hills power past Kirkwood, 12-0, and Spoon River, 9-0, in the season-opening Southeastern Community College Turf Tournament.
Indian Hills won three of four games in the season-opening tournament, winning 7-3 on Sunday against John Wood with Olson drilling her third home run of the season, driving in three runs in the contest. Illinois Central handed IHCC a 1-0 loss, however, scoring the only run in the bottom of the seventh.
Snider set a program record as a freshman with 27 home runs, becoming one of three Warrior players last year to eclipse 20 homers in a single season. Entering the season, Kacey Duffield had the single-season record for homers with 19 set in the 2016 season.
Snider (27), Macy Harrington (24) and Chloe Olson (20) became the first three Warrior softball players to hit 20 or more single-season home runs last season as freshmen. Snider and Olson picked right back up where they left off to open their sophomore seasons with Snider clubbing three homers in Saturday morning’s 12-run win, hammering the sixth pitch of the game over the fence to open the game against Kirkwood, while Olson added two more round-trippers including a three-run opposite field blast in the third that put the Warriors up 4-0.
Snider and Olson both homered in the fourth. Olson led IHCC with five RBIs in the season-opener while Snider finished 4-4 with four RBIs and four runs scored, driving a third home out to center in the fifth.
Freshman Peyton Moffet added two hits including a double, an RBI and a run scored in her Warrior debut. Alexis Groet, the only IHCC pitcher to ever record 300 strikeouts in a single season, tossed a five-inning one-hitter against Kirkwood striking out 10 batters while allowing just one walk and two base runners.
Indian Hills improved to 2-0 later on Saturday, scoring seven times in the fourth inning to put away a 9-0 win over Spoon River. Snider again blasted a home run to open the game for the Warriors and opened the game up with a grand slam in the fourth, giving IHCC a 7-0 lead.
Brooke Tucker opened the fourth-inning Warrior rally with her first intercollegiate home run, a lead-off blast to left. Tucker capped the seven-run rally with her second hit of the inning, a two-run double to right that brought home Olson and Anna Voigt.
Snider finished the tournament with a team-leading nine hits at the plate hammering five home runs, driving in nine runs and scoring eight times. As a team, IHCC hit nine homers and had 35 total hits. Nicole Bellis added a double and matched Snider scoring twice against Spoon River.
C.J. Banner pitched a five-inning shutout for the Warriors in Saturday’s second IHCC win. The former Des Moines East ace allowed just three hits and one walk while strike out six batters.
Indian Hills (3-1) continues the season with a trip to Texas later this month.