By Dan Stillwell
Register-Herald Sports Writer
SHADY SPRNG —
Angela Bostic didn’t leave the softball cupboard bare at Shady Spring.
The Tigers returned eight starters and are 2-0 in the snow-ravaged campaign under new coach Nikki Mackey.
“I walked into some major talent,” Mackey said. “I’m not even worried anymore about us being Class AAA.”
Bostic resigned after six successful seasons. She took the Tigers to the Class AA state tournament four times and compiled an overall record of 109-68.
She also was Coalfield Conference Coach of the Year twice, won the section six times and captured the semi-region six times.
Although most of last season’s 15-14 squad returned, Bostic decided it was a good time to call it a day. She’ll remain at the school as a teacher.
“Six years is a long time. I just thought it was time to step down,” Bostic said. “I want to continue my higher education and my personal life.”
She accomplished a lot, and not just on the field. She takes pride that three former players are students at West Virginia University. A fourth is in pharmacy school at Marshall and a fifth is now a substitute teacher.
“Coaching-wise and team-wise, I peaked at the right time,” Bostic said.
“Shady has an extremely strong team, and they’ve got a shot at states. So that didn’t have anything to do with me leaving.”
The Tigers won AAA championships in 1992 and 1993, and AA titles in 1994, 2003 and 2005.
The school returned to AAA last fall and has found the division tough going at times.
But last week, in their second game, the Tigers defeated AAA power Logan 6-0. They wasted little time in jumping on the Wildcats.
“On the first pitch, Sierra Richmond hit a home run and set the tone for the game,” Mackey said. “Our third batter, Mackenzie Milam, hit another home run.”
All-state pitcher Katie Snodgress tossed a shutout, holding Logan to four hits.
Snodgress was 10-7 last season, going into the state tournament, with 132 strikeouts and a 1.61 ERA.
The senior right-hander worked over the summer to up her game.
“Katie is using a lot of pitches she didn’t use last summer,” Mackey said. “She’s very smart, and she’s definitely a hard worker.”
Snodgress was no slouch at the plate, batting .451 with 11 doubles and 17 RBIs.
Shady has five other seniors — first baseman Autumn Kauff (.425), second baseman Michelle Snodgress (Katie’s sister, .417), shortstop Kelsey Robertson (.275), Milam, a transfer from Independence at third base and Alexis DeMoss (.450) in right field.
“We’re definitely blessed to have Mackenzie transfer,” Mackey said. “She’s our No. 3 hitter and has brought a lot of leadership qualities to the team. She’s stepped in like she’d been here the whole time.”
Rounding out the lineup are junior catcher MacKenzie Severt (.327), junior left fielder/infielder Richmond (.350) and sophomore center fielder Alexis Coalson (.353). Sophomore outfielder Morgan Hylton will also get plenty of playing time.
Mackey, a 2004 Shady Spring graduate, played on the 2003 championship team.
“I’ve always wanted to become a coach and coach at Shady,” she said. “I’m using everything I learned from my coaches (Johnny Pachuta and Carol Faust).
“I like being on the other side of things. It’s different. I didn’t know a thing about any of the players when I stepped in but I like that I can help them learn and get motivated.”
The Tigers are scheduled to play at Wyoming East today, weather permitting, and at George Washington Friday.
Bostic will be content to be a fan. For now, anyway.
“I love softball. I’ve been playing on and off since I was 5 years old,” she said. “I’m looking forward to watching my brother Brad’s little girl playing tee ball.
“Maybe I’ll coach again one day.”
— E-mail: dstillwell@