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BROOKSVILLE — The best teams in Class 2A, District 4 continued what has become a tight rivalry Thursday evening at Hernando Christian.
Academy at the Lakes took firm control of the district standings with an 8-0 win over the Lions.
“We have a lot of new girls on the team this season,” AATL pitcher Sydney Boynton said. “The more we play, the less scared we are playing.”
The Wildcats (5-1, 2-0) grabbed the lead in the top of the first when catcher Skyler Boynton, who led off with an infield single, scored on a passed ball. HCA ace Ashley McKay completed a rare feat by striking out four batters in that frame.
McKay (12 strikeouts, no walks, one earned run) was the victim of poor fielding for much of the game as the Lions (6-1, 0-1) committed 10 errors. The senior’s complete-game performance went to waste as HCA was unable to muster an offense against McKay’s counterpart, Sydney Boynton.
The senior pitcher carried a perfect game into the sixth before walking Cayla Phillips with two out in the inning. The count went full on Phillips, and despite a great job of framing the pitch from Skyler Boynton, her younger sister and battery mate, the umpire awarded a free pass.
“I really wanted that perfect game,” Sydney Boynton said. “I’ve never thrown a perfect game (for a seven-inning game), but I thought I had a chance today. When my changeup is working like it was, everything is going well for me.”
On the next pitch, Phillips was thrown out trying to steal. In the seventh, Boynton (12 strikeouts, one walk, one hit) struck out the side but also gave up her only hit, a single to HCA catcher and leading hitter Holly Field.
AATL shortstop Lauren Evans came in hitting .733. She reached twice on errors, going 1-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI. Evans has 14 runs and 10 RBIs in only six games.