American Heritage and Corrie Boggess beat King's Academy 8-1 in state softball semifinals
Friday, May 11, 2012
by Jeff Greer
When Corrie Boggess' Wellington team was knocked out of the state semifinals last year, she didn't say a word in the post-game press conference.
A year later, Boggess, who transferred to American Heritage last fall, had a bit more to say.
Boggess pitched a complete-game three-hitter Friday to help American Heritage rout King's Academy 8-1 in the Class 3A state semifinals, pushing the Stallions one win closer to repeating as state champions.
The junior's performance was worlds away from last year's, when, as Wellington's starting pitcher, she lost 5-0 in the Class 5A state semifinals. With her new team, Boggess (13-5) had a no-hitter through four innings and cruised to a win in dominating fashion.
"Last year, we lost and I was very upset - I wasn't expecting it," said Boggess, implying she'd get upset last year when one bad pitch would ruin her mood. "This year, I'm working harder to get everything going the right way."
Heritage (23-6) got going early Friday.
In the opening at-bat, lead-off hitter Jessie Mohl popped up a bunt, but a miscommunication in King's Academy's infield let the ball drop. Mohl and Whitney Farris scored on Ashley Niesman's double down the left-field line.
That moment might've rattled King's, which was playing in its first state tournament since 1998 and started eight underclassmen.
The Lions (23-7) couldn't get their bats going, and when they did, they'd hit right at American Heritage infielders. The Stallions committed two errors, but none of them were costly enough to get King's back in the game.
"We couldn't find holes," said King's pitcher Aubree Murphy, who gave up five earned runs on eight hits while striking out nine. "We were sitting in the dugout, praying we'd find some openings, but we just couldn't."
Boggess got 12 ground-ball outs and threw only 95 pitches. King's scored its sole run in the sixth inning. Kim Valdes doubled, scoring when Farris' throw on Abby Cornelius' infield single went to the fence.
Heritage, however, kept hitting. Mohl had three hits and scored three runs, and Boggess and Niesman each added two hits for a combined seven RBI. Boggess hit a sixth-inning riseball over the center-field fence to put an exclamation point on the win.
It was a dominant win for a team that didn't expect to win a state title a year ago, when Heritage was more of a small-ball squad that played with speed. This year's lineup is a lot tougher throughout the order, and the Stallions expected to be playing for another state championship.
"Last year's team, we were driving the car through the fog," Heritage coach Kevin Drake said. "This year, we packed a camper."