COLUMBIA Boyd County’s 10-12 softball All-Stars are in a groove.

Manager Dave Atkinson believes they’ve struck a rhythm that will be difficult to disrupt.

They took down Hazard/Perry, 12-0, in four innings on Wednesday in the state tournament. They’ll face Marion County — the only team to hand Boyd County a defeat — today at 6 Eastern. If Boyd County topples unbeaten Marion, a second game will be required tonight.

“We have all intentions of that happening,” Atkinson said.

Atkinson said the girls were “on Cloud Nine” after the convincing triumph over Hazard/Perry.

“We’re playing our best ball right now,” he said. “When we played Marion County (Saturday), everybody was a little tight. It was a lot of pressure for those that haven’t been to this stage before. We worked through it.”

Boyd County played error-free defense on Wednesday.

“That’s what I’m most proud of,” Atkinson said. “It’s not the 12 runs we scored or how we ran the bases. It’s the defense we play. Defense wins championships.”

Boyd County’s bats poured it on early. The All-Stars scored five times in each of the first two frames to jump out to a 10-0 advantage.

Hazard threatened with a pair of singles and a walk in the third, but Boyd County escaped the bases-loaded, zero-out situation unscathed. Jaycie Goad fired home to nab the lead runner after a bouncer to shortstop, pitcher JoDee Atkins recorded a strikeout and Savanna Atkinson fielded a grounder at second and threw the batter out.

After Boyd County tacked on two more in the third, Atkins tallied another punchout, Goad gloved a grounder and flipped to Addi Miller, who’d entered at second base, and Dani Crum snagged a fly ball in center.

Atkins pitched a shutout while hitting a double and triple. She also drew a walk.

Goad had a single, double and walk. Gracie Jo Preece collected two doubles and a free pass.