The Sonic Drive-In Player-of-the-Game for Thursday, April 26, is Briana Boggs of the Gainesville softball team.
The freshman had two of Gainesville’s four hits in a 3-1 win against Columbia (Lake City), which gave the Hurricanes the Class 7A-District 3 title and a first-round home playoff game.
In the second inning, Boggs hit a towering RBI double off the fence in right center field. If not for the taller fence in center field, it could have been her first home run of the season.
It was the 16th RBI of the season for Boggs, who gave the Hurricanes an early 1-0 lead.
In her second at bat, Boggs delivered a long single off the fence in center field, allowing Olivia Hanson, who had singled to start the inning, to move from first to third. Hanson would come home on a fielder’s choice by Ayanna Woodard, who was looking to sacrifice.
Gainesville (20-5) scored twice in the inning to take a commanding 3-0 lead. With the way that sophomore Alissa Humphrey was pitching, it almost seemed as if one run would be enough.
The JU commit did give up a run in the 5th. Cris’Deona Beasley led off the inning with a double, and two batters later Morgan Hoyle brought her home on a sacrifice fly to left field.
However, Humphrey would finish the game with only three hits allowed.
She walked only three and struck out 11. In fact, she was dominant against the top six batters in the line-up for Columbia (21-4), who went a combined 0-for-12 with nine strikeouts.
“We were lucky to come out on top,” Gainesville coach Chris Chronister told the Gainesville Sun. “Briana was seeing the ball really well. If we had a normal fence there, they would have certainly been home runs.”
The Hurricanes will now host a Class 7A regional quarterfinal on Wednesday against Nease (Ponte Vedra), which lost in extra innings to Bartram Trail (St. Johns) in the 7A-District 4 championship game.
Columbia, which had its 12-game winning streak snapped, will have to travel to Bartram Trail, which is ranked fifth in the state in Class 7A.
Every game The Prep Zone will recognize a Player-of-the-Game. The recipient receives a $10 gift certificate courtesy of Sonic Drive-In of Gainesville & Ocala.