DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Victoria Boyer has strived to balance education, softball and giving her time to others throughout her high school career.
On Saturday night, all those efforts were rewarded.
The Center Grove senior third baseman scored the first run and recorded the last out of the night in the IHSAA Class 4A softball championship game, helping power the No. 3 Trojans to a 6-2 victory against No. 5 Lake Central and their state-record sixth state title.
Following the game, Boyer was presented with the Mental Attitude Award for her accomplishments on the diamond, in the classroom and outside school.
Boyer, who entered the title game batting .304 for the season, went 2 for 3 with a run scored. She led off the third inning with a bloop single just beyond the second baseman’s reach. She moved to second on a wild pitch and raced home on Delainey Turner’s one-out double to give Center Grove a 1-0 lead.
In the field, she handled her only two chances flawlessly. In the bottom of the fifth, she smothered a tricky grounder off the bat of Crystal Guzman and made a perfect throw to first to open the inning. And in the seventh, with two outs and two runners on, Boyer collected a slow roller and stepped on third for the game-ending force out.
Balanced contributions in all aspects of the game. Just as she has done off the diamond the past four years.
Boyer is a member of the National Honor Society and the Center Grove School Improvement Board. She has mentored special needs children in the Best Buddies Program. Her volunteer efforts also include time at Wheeler Mission, Operation Christmas Child and Stars of New Hope.
And between now and her fall enrollment at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she will travel to Nicaragua on a mission trip.
Boyer, who said that her parents Kevin and Holly Boyer have always encouraged and supported her in all her activities, insisted that there was not a secret for maintaining that balance.
“When it’s important to you, you make it work,” she said.
Center Grove coach Russ Milligan said Boyer is a perfect example of what the Mental Attitude award stands for.
“If she’s going to be a part of something, that’s something that’s going to be done right,” the 24-year Trojans’ coach said. “That’s the way she attacks her classes. That’s the way she attacks the organizations she’s in at school. That’s the way she attacks softball.
“She’s a true leader by example that, guess what, you can play softball year-round and still get all A’s. It’s not an impossible task. You just have to be a little more focused than others.”
As for the program’s latest state championship, the sixth in its history, Boyer said she and her fellow seniors were focused on not letting up after earning the school’s first title game appearance since 2009.
“We weren’t satisfied (with reaching the final game),” she said. “We knew what we were capable of and we knew that we weren’t done. So this was just another game on the road trip.”
Boyer is the third Center Grove player to win the Mental Attitude Award, joining Brittany Hedrick in 2003 and Katie Jones in 2004.