Change of pace helps Bobcats to 1A repeat with win over West Union

By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal

RIDGELAND – Bogue Chitto pitcher Toy Smith had West Union’s number on Saturday.
The senior right-hander, who possesses a “wicked” change-up, three-hit the Lady Eagles to lead her Lady Bobcats to a 4-2 victory and a sweep of the MHSAA Class 1A fastpitch softball state championship series.
“She had a wicked change-up,” said West Union senior catcher Leah Paige Goolsby, who had one of the Eagles’ three hits. “She was pitching high outside and low inside, and throwing strikes.
“Give her credit, she kept us off-balance every time she threw the ball.”
Smith calls the change-up her best pitch.
“I can throw it at any time,” she said. “My goal was just to go out there and not walk anybody.”
Smith wound up walking five and striking out three. Of her 21 outs, 11 came on ground balls.
Bogue Chitto (23-7), the defending state champion, took advantage of five West Union (18-11) errors in Friday’s series opener to win 8-5.
In the second game, the Lady Eagles committed three errors and two were costly, leading to two of the Bobcats’ runs.
However, as West Union coach Lisa Bogue pointed out, the errors weren’t the result of sloppy play.
“Our girls were hustling, trying to get an out,” she said. “Those are a lot easier to take.”
Bogue Chitto took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the third when the Lady Eagles responded with two runs on RBI singles from Goolsby and Brittany Taylor. West Union’s only other hit, a single by Bailey Bogue, came in the inning.
The Bobcats added an insurance run to go up 4-2 in the sixth when Darcy Miller doubled and later scored from third on a throwing error.
Danielle Taylor (14-6), a senior right-hander, suffered the loss in the circle for the Eagles. She recorded seven strikeouts, walked three and scattered six hits.
West Union lost seven starters from last year’s team that reached the North state finals.
“These girls have nothing to hang their heads about,” Bogue said. “They had an amazing year. I’m really pleased with how hard they fought all season.”