Dramatic ninth-inning win for Callaway
Published 10:27 pm Thursday, September 28, 2017
By Kevin Eckleberry
HOGANSVILLE – As Kelly Carlisle stepped to the plate with a chance to end the game, Callaway softball coach Ashley Summerlin had a message for her.
“I told her I’m not looking for you to walk, I’m looking for you to hit,” Summerlin said.
Carlisle took her coach’s words to heart.
Carlisle came through with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to bring in Lindsay Cofield with the winning run, and Callaway walked away with an 8-7 win over Landmark Christian.
Landmark Christian scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning to pull even, but Callaway recovered and found a way to get its third straight win.
“This team, they’re learning how to fight, learning how to compete,” Summerlin said. “What’s really been happening the past three or four games, our bottom of the lineup is getting it done. Where we struggled at the beginning of the year, it’s starting to come around.”
One of those players at the bottom of the lineup, Cofield, helped spark the ninth-inning rally.
Cofield, the number eight hitter, reached on an error when a ball on the infield was misplayed, and she up a base on a groundout by Leijorey Sanders.
“Lindsay Cofield put the ball in play, and made somebody make a play,” Summerlin said. “They threw the ball away, and then we got an opportunity.”
It was Carlisle’s second opportunity to win the game.
In the bottom of the seventh, Callaway had runners on second and third when Carlisle hit the ball on the nose, but it was caught by the third baseman.
The next time Carlisle came up, she had a 3-1 count in her favor, and she looked for a pitch to drive.
“I had three balls and one strike, and I was looking for a hit,” Carlisle said. “I took the approach we’ve always worked on in practice and just hit it like I could.”
Plenty went wrong in the game for the Lady Cavaliers, but they shrugged off the adversity and found a way.
“That’s always our motto, no matter what happens, you’ve got to stay up and keep a good attitude, and stay together,” Carlisle said.
Callaway will host Brookstone on Monday in the final game of the regular season, and it will be the number three seed in the Region 5-AA tournament.
“Right now we’ve won three straight games, and we’ve got it back to .500,” Summerlin said. “We’re excited about it, and I’m excited for them.”
Heading into the seventh inning, it looked like it was going to a suspense-free evening.Landmark took advantage of some defensive miscues by Callaway and scored four runs to keep the game going, though.
Oeisha Jenkins entered the game in relief of Skylar Rice in the seventh inning and kept Landmark from taking the lead, and she didn’t allow any runs in the eighth or ninth innings.
“It shows what your kids are about,” Summerlin said. “So I’m happy for them and I’m glad they were able to come through.”
Jenkins also had a productive day at the plate with two hits, including a double, and she was on base four times.
Carlisle was on base three times with a pair of hits from the leadoff position, Rice, Leijorey Sanders and Kailea Speer each had two hits, and Lydia Bartlett had a hit and a walk.