MADISON TOWNSHIP — Leah Boggs and her Madison teammates will have to be at their best this week.
The Richland Bank Athlete of the Week, Boggs led the Rams to a pair of run rule-shortened Ohio Cardinal Conference wins over Mansfield Senior last week. The junior All-Ohioan was 4-for-6 with three doubles and a stolen base as Madison (10-5) ran its OCC mark to 8-0.
Next up for the Rams is a critical home-and-home series against OCC co-leader Mount Vernon this week. The Yellow Jackets (14-0, 8-0) have won the past two OCC titles and are ranked first in Division I in the most recent state coaches poll.
Madison was scheduled to take part in the ultra-competitive Wendy’s Spring Classic over the weekend in preparation for this week’s showdown, but the annual showcase event was rained out for just the second time in 26 years.
“We like playing in the Wendy’s because, aside from the great competition, we also get to play in a tournament-like atmosphere,” Madison coach Tim Niswander said last week. “That’s not always something that is easy to create.”
This week’s games against Mount Vernon will certainly have a tournament feel. The Yellow Jackets boast one of the most talent-laden lineups in the state, led by Division I recruits Hope Straight (Ohio State) and Macee Marcum (Cleveland State).
Madison is not without its share of star power. Boggs verbally committed to the University of Virginia after originally committing to Pitt between her freshman and sophomore years. She is batting .440 with a team-high 21 runs batted in.
“She’s extremely athletic and is really good behind the plate,” Niswander said at the time. “She can stop an opposing team’s running game.”
A three-sport athlete, Boggs was an Ohio Cardinal Conference first-team pick as a freshman and sophomore. She earned a spot on the Division II All-Ohio first team last spring, helping the Rams reach the regional tournament.
The undersized Boggs broke Madison’s career home run record earlier this season. The hard-working junior isn’t about to rest on her laurels, though.
“I need to get stronger and I need to be more consistent with my hitting,” Boggs said after committing. “There are always things to work on.”