Incarnate Word junior Mia Boyd has had two serious passions the last eight years — violin and softball.

Boyd said she loves violin because the music she makes helps her relax.

“It just gives me another outlet, other than softball, to just relax and do something other than school,” Boyd said. “I started in grade school and it was something I thought was cool. I really ended up enjoying it.”

Boyd’s other passion will be taking center stage this weekend.

The multi-position standout will help lead Incarnate Word (18-6, No. 5 in the small-schools rankings) against Helias (24-5) at 2 p.m. Friday in a Class 3 state softball semifinal at Killian Sports Complex in Springfield.

Boyd has a team-best .573 batting average to go along with four home runs and 28 RBI as well as a 5-5 pitching record with a 2.82 earned run average. When she’s not pitching, Boyd plays first base.

“Mia has meant everything,” said Red Knights coach Mike Gill, who noted Boyd likely will pitch the semifinal. “She’s a bubbly personality that gets along with everybody. Everybody likes her so much. She really does help us get going. She is quiet, for the most part, but when she gets going, she gets going. I really think the whole team appreciates it.”

Boyd said she thinks a look into the recent past can help Incarnate Word play some sweet music this weekend to earn a couple of wins and a state title.

She said the Red Knights need to learn from two seasons ago, when they finished fourth.

“We can’t go out there expecting to win it all or thinking we’re going to lose,” Boyd said. “We have to be right down the middle. If have to approach it like that and just go out there and play our best.”

The Incarnate Word-Helias winner advances to the Class 3 state championship at 4 p.m. Saturday against either Sullivan (24-6) or Savannah (19-2), which face off in the other semifinal Friday.

Incarnate Word has won eight consecutive games, including Monday’s 10-7 quarterfinal upset victory at Cape Notre Dame.

In Helias, the Red Knights are facing a team they haven’t played since 2006 and haven’t scored against in two previous meetings in the last 20 years.

Helias has won 10 consecutive games, including the last three and five of six by shutout.

“I understand they are really good, but we’re playing really well,” Gill said. “We’re right where we want to be entering this game. We’re just going to go out and, hopefully, keep playing the way we have been lately.”

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