Posted: 9:47 am Friday, May 11th, 2012

Live from Clermont: American Heritage tops King’s in softball state semis 

By Jeff Greer

It’s Armageddon for small-schools softball fans: Bitter rivals American Heritage and King’s Academy meet in the Class 3A state semifinals, and I’ve got inning-by-inning updates from the National Training Center in Clermont.

American Heritage hit hard and often, coasting to an 8-1 rout of King’s. Heritage will play either Bishop Snyder or Trinity Prep tomorrow at 4 p.m.

King’s gets its first run
Kim Valdes lofted a nice double to the left-center gap and scored on Abby Cornelius’ infield single. King’s finally puts together a rally, but it seems to be a bit too late. The Lions are still down 8-1 with two outs in the bottom of the sixth.
American Heritage 8, King’s Academy 1, through six innings

Boggess homers
If the one-hitter through five innings wasn’t impressive enough, Corrie Boggess just charged a pitch over the center-field wall to drive American Heritage’s lead to 8-0. What a bomb.

Heritage piling on
Corrie Boggess drove in two runs with a sharply hit ground ball through the right side. Marissa Mangini and Jessie Mohl scored. Ashley Niesman drilled a ground-ball triple to left-center field to score another, and a dropped popup scored Niesman from third. With Boggess throwing a one-hitter, the four additional runs could be daggers for King’s Academy.
American Heritage 6, King’s Academy 0, through five innings

Settling in
After the opening two-run inning for American Heritage, the game’s calmed down. Both teams have had runners in scoring position, but the pitchers worked their way out.
American Heritage 2, King’s Academy 0, through three innings

American Heritage strikes first
Jessie Mohl popped her lead-off bunt straight up, but a miscommunication between pitcher Aubree Murphy and shortstop Amanda Willcox let Mohl’s bunt drop. She stole second. Then Whitney Farris drew a one-out walk and Mohl advanced to third without any King’s attempt to catch her. Ashley Niesman’s line-drive double to left scored both Mohl and Farris, who’d advanced to second on defensive indifference.
American Heritage 2, King’s Academy 0, through one inning

11:58 a.m.
All set to go here in Clermont. Here are your lineups:

American Heritage
Mohl 5
Mangini 8
Bogggess 1
Farris 6
Niesman 4
Collier 7
Estes 3
Pancione 1/Mossucco DP
Edelmann 9

King’s Academy
Wright 4
Am. Willcox 6
Valdes 5
Cornelius 3
Gomez 2
Kincaid 8/Gaidosh DP
Murphy 1
Rolston 9
Al. Willcox 7

In today’s Post I chronicled the 386 days since the two former district foes last played. Both teams are different, and in my opinion, both are better.

Righty ace Aubree Murphy (22-4, 1.40 ERA, 221 K, 120 1/3 IP) takes the mound for King’s. The senior throws in the low 60s and mixes a screwball and breaking ball in with her rise. King’s coach Tim Willcox said yesterday Murphy needs to operate away in the strike zone against a Heritage team that hit .336 all season.

Corrie Boggess (12-5, 1.15 ERA, 7 SO) returns to Clermont for her second state-semifinal start in two springs. Last May, Boggess pitched well but her Wellington team lost 5-0 to eventual state champ Niceville. She’ll want to limit her walks and work inside on a slap-hitting King’s team that has a lot of speed.