RADFORD — It was not a particularly big deal for Woodgrove when the first Fort Defiance batter homered in the bottom of the first inning Saturday afternoon at Radford in the Virginia AA softball semifinals.
With the way the Wolverines can hit, they knew it likely would take a lot more than one run — emphatic leadoff homer or not — to subdue them. Woodgrove advanced to the state final with a 6-2 win and a more sustained offensive display of its own.
The Wolverines will face Cave Spring, a 7-1 winner over King George, in the state championship at 1 p.m. Sunday at Radford. Woodgrove has reached the final in each of its three years of existence, finishing as runner-up in 2011 and winning the crown last season.
The Wolverines (26-2) banged out 12 hits, with the top seven batters in the lineup having at least one each. Freshmen Halle Daughtry and Adriana Erickson delivered two-RBI hits in their team’s four-run fifth inning.
This was not quite like the state quarterfinal, when Woodgrove beat Tabb, 33-2, on 31 hits, but it was more than enough.
“We just came in and said, hey, we have to get a run anyway,” Woodgrove Coach Joe Spicer said of Fort Defiance junior catcher Carli Hill hitting the leadoff home run.
“We don’t work so hard on defense,” he added with a laugh. “We work on swinging the bats. That’s our nature. We try to outscore you.”
Even with their penchant for offense, the Wolverines committed no errors, turned a double play in the fourth inning and threw out a runner at the plate for the second out of the fifth inning, when Fort Defiance got three of its first four batters on base.
“A lot of us had a lot of confidence in the batter’s box,” said senior left fielder Mackenzie Moler, who went 3 for 4. “You can’t really focus too much on mechanics. We know how to play the game. It’s just a matter of being there mentally and just having fun with it.”
Senior shortstop Alayna Furr, Daughtry and Erickson all had two hits each.
Woodgrove junior Jazmyn Rohrer struck out seven and walked three.