6:00pm: Sunday Sportsline

Boggess’ second shutout of day lifts Winfield over Oak Glen, 1-0

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Winfield’s softball program doesn’t have a state championship.

Thanks in large part to the pitching prowess of Maci Boggess, the Generals are on the brink of their first title.

After first keying Winfield to a 5-0 win over Shady Spring with a complete game shutout, Boggess followed it up with an equally, if not more impressive performance against defending runner-up Oak Glen. The Generals’ junior went the distance and did not allow a run for the second time of the day, leading the Generals to a 1-0 victory over the Golden Bears.

“It’s pretty cool. I didn’t necessarily go for that, but whatever happens, happens,” Boggess said.

What happens is Winfield (26-7) is in the driver’s seat in Class AA and needs one more win before losing twice to garner its first title. The Generals will take on the winner of a Thursday morning elimination game between Oak Glen (27-3) and Herbert Hoover in a rematch of last year’s AA final.

“It feels good. We were ready. We came in wanting it and we weren’t going to do anything less,” Boggess said.

While Winfield got a runner into scoring position in the second and third innings, it couldn’t muster any offense against stingy Oak Glen starting pitcher Maddie McKay.

McKay retired WHS in order in the fourth, before Oak Glen came to bat and generated a quality scoring chance.

After Sydney Brown’s leadoff single, Kenna Callahan hit a line drive to second base that the Generals’ Lola Baber made a diving catch on to take a hit away. McKay followed with a single to shortstop that put two on for the Golden Bears, but they were unable to capitalize. Instead, Sarah Brown sent a ball deep in the hole to shortstop Alex Hurley, who alertly flipped to third for a force out on a high-level defensive play for the second out of the frame.

“Defensively, we’ve been really good the last couple of weeks,” Winfield coach Steve Hensley said.

Liv Munoz lined out to second to end that inning and the contest went to the fifth scoreless, but it wouldn’t remain that way for long.

Lizzie Kell took over for McKay in the pitching circle and issued a one-out walk to Kennedy Schilling, who moved up to second base on Ella Nelson’s sacrifice bunt.

Generals’ leadoff hitter Georgia Moulder followed with a double to left that scored Schilling, and though Moulder was stranded on third, Winfield had the advantage.

“The game was riding on every pitch from the third or fourth inning on,” Hensley said. “There weren’t a lot of chances in that game and there were very few hits. If you got a girl on, you better get her to second, hope someone got a hit and Georgia did. Hats off to her.”

Boggess retired all three batters she faced in the fifth, though the Golden Bears produced another quality scoring chance in the sixth. That came after a leadoff single from Makayla Zoellers, who was thrown out at third on Callahan’s single, resulting in the second out of the inning and another pivotal play from the Generals’ defense.

“They lit it up and they definitely had my back,” Boggess said of the Generals’ defense. “I can’t thank them enough for that.”

Still, the Golden Bears were well within striking distance when they came to bat in the seventh trailing by one. A one-out single from Munoz allowed Oak Glen to put the tying run on base, and a two-out walk to Grace Smith — Boggess’ first base-on-balls of the contest — put two Golden Bears on, including the tying run in scoring position.

Boggess kept her cool and the Youngstown State commit induced a game-ending groundout to first base from Emma Renfro.

“It just made me focus more and when I focus more, I do better. That was my thought process through that,” Boggess said of having no margin for error with just the one-run lead.

Boggess allowed six hits and struck out seven over her 98-pitch performance.

“She stayed ahead in the count. She located her fastball well all day and her curve ball was pretty good in this game,” Hensley said. “Her changeup was enough to keep them off the harder stuff. Mixing that in a little bit, and staying ahead in the count, and a little bit of heart, too. Sometimes we overlook that. I’m going to get up here and I’m going to be successful, and that’s a lot of it.”

McKay had six strikeouts, two walks and one hit allowed over her no decision in four innings. Kell took the tough-luck loss with one run and two hits allowed in three innings. She struck out three and walked one.

Callahan finished 2-for-3 and was the game’s only player with more than one hit.

Oak Glen takes on Herbert Hoover at 9:45 a.m. Thursday in an elimination game. The winner then has to beat Winfield twice to take home the title.





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