HOBART | Allison Jorsch learned she had juvenile diabetes when she was 7 and has worn an insulin pump since.
The affliction runs her life. She’s in a constant state of monitoring her blood sugar, knowing that additional exercise can prompt major problems.
So she was only being realistic when she told coaches that she’d likely miss some practices and even an occasional game last season. She didn’t make the team and instead ran track with moderate success.
Although she’s committed to play volleyball at Purdue Calumet in the fall, she returned to the softball team under new coach Sarah Funston this spring, and she’s happy she’s back playing the sport she’s played all of her life, including at the varsity level her freshman and sophomore years.
Jorsch broke out in a huge way on Wednesday with six runs batted in during Times No. 9 Highland’s 13-5 win over No. 10 Hobart in a Northwest Crossroads Conference that changed venues from Highland to Hobart due to snow.
“I really didn’t expect today to go as well as it did,” Jorsch said. “I had problems with my blood sugar in the morning and didn’t feel good, but I managed it because I knew we had a game. Still, I didn’t expect this.”
Playing first and batting fifth, Jorsch changed the game with almost every at-bat. She was 4-for-5, her lone out on a fielder’s choice that still resulted in a run for the Trojans (3-3, 2-0).
In the third inning teammate Felicity Hillegonds (3-for-5, 4 RBI) turned a 1-1 tie into a 3-1 lead with a two-run double. Jorsch’s two-run single put Highland up 6-3 in the fourth, her two-run double in the sixth made it 8-5, and her two-run home run in the seventh inning accounted for the final score.
“I just put my head down and drove every time,” Jorsch said.
The key for Highland was to keep driving because no lead seemed safe.
A 4-1 Highland lead turned to 4-3 when Hannah Wilson homered for Hobart (5-4, 2-1), and a Paige Talian double for the Brickies cut a 6-3 lead to 6-5.
“I’m always on the girls about scoring every inning,” Funston said. “I tell them that if the ball’s there, swing the bat.”
Jorsch is one of seven seniors for Highland, so it just takes a little nudge from Funston and someone rallies the team.
“We’re going to win with our offense and not making errors,” Funston said. “We have high goals, and we believe in ourselves.”
The Brickies left 10 runners on base, punctuated by a one-out, bases-loaded scenario in the sixth inning that ended with no runs.
“We definitely had some opportunities we didn’t cash in on,” said Hobart coach Katrina Lucas, who was scheduled to deliver her second child after the game.
“Defensively we made some mistakes, and (Highland) hit the whole game and kept coming back.”