"Offensively, it pumps us up," Higginbotham said. "It calms our nerves and me, personally, I feel more confidence in the box. I focus better because I'm not as nervous.
"Our defense in the title game was phenomenal. The whole tournament it was sound. It won those ball games.''
While her stats and Parkins' were similar, Burdette said that had more to do with the pitchers' supporting cast.
"I think it's important to have a good defense behind the pitcher to take some of the pressure off of them," Burdette said. "That's what our defense did at the state tournament."
Only one Class A program has won more than three Class A titles in a row. Wheeling Central won seven straight from 1995-2001, a string that began just one year after the sport was broken into three competitive classes.
The Maroon Knights were again part of the state tournament as the Region 1 champion in 2013, falling in the losers bracket final. Senior Sarah Henry was named to the all-state team as a pitcher, while sophomore Sydney Barrington (.457, 4 HR, 24 RBI) was named as an infielder.
Moorefield, which lost to Buffalo in the state title game for the second year in a row, also had two players named to the team. Junior Danica Rogers was the Yellow Jackets' ace and thus named as a pitcher. Junior Beth Cook hit .644 with nine HRs, 14 doubles and 37 RBIs and was named as an infielder.
Pitching statistics for Central's Henry and Moorefield's Rogers were not provided by their coaches. Numbers were also not provided for the Man duo of senior pitcher Taylor Tomblin and senior catcher Summer Sword, though both earned all-state spots based on their success throughout the course of the year as well as support given to the players by writers and opposing coaches.
Doddridge County senior Ashlie LaFalce returned to the all-state team as a catcher, hitting .448 with five HRs and 29 RBIs.
The remainder of the infield was made up of St. Marys senior Abbi Fetty (.564), Doddridge County junior Lacy Perkins (.420, 13 doubles, 22 RBIs) and Sherman senior Mackenzie Smith (.410, 10 HRs, 36 RBIs).
Higginbotham became a two-time selection in the outfield after hitting .462 with 31 stolen bases. She was joined in the all-state outfield by Wirt County senior Emily Ohrm (.415, four HRs, seven triples, 20 RBIs) and St. Marys sophomore Mikaela Britton (.592, eight doubles).
South Harrison senior Jessica Puddister became a four-time selection - she made the team as a freshman when the Hawks won their only state title in 2010 - after hitting .463 with 20 RBIs and striking out 95 batters. Puddister was named as a utility player.
Also named at utility were Magnolia junior Mallory Chapman (.563, five HRs and 165 strikeouts as a pitcher) and Gilmer County junior Julie Bishop (.459, 34 RBIs, 12-4 with 71 K).