Callaway softball team makes history

Published 9:38 am Thursday, October 12, 2017

By Kevin Eckleberry

ATLANTA – They made history.

The Callaway Lady Cavaliers overwhelmed Douglass in the opening round of the Class AA state softball tournament on Wednesday.

It was the first state-playoff win in the history of the Callaway softball program, and head coach Ashley Summerlin was thrilled for his players.

“We’ve never done this before,” Summerlin said. “It’s the first time we ever won a playoff game, and the first time we ever won a playoff series. That’s good for us. I don’t care who you play, it shows you’re moving in the right direction. To be able to play and have a new experience, that’s how teams that have tradition do it. They’ve done all of this before.

And they’ve been in these situations before. So we’re excited about it.”

Callaway finished third in Region 5-AA to earn its state spot, while Douglass was the runner-up in Region 6-AA.

While Douglass may have had home-field advantage, the day belonged to Callaway, which won the opener 20-0 before finishing the sweep with a 22-0 victory.

Every Callaway player had at least one hit on the day, and that included senior Skylar Rice, who hit a pair of three-run home runs in the first inning of Game 2.

Oeisha Jenkins started the first game and was the winning pitcher, and Rice got the win in game two.

Jasmine Dukes pitched a scoreless inning in each of the games.

“It was a good day for us,” Summerlin said. “We’re excited about it, and excited to see who we play and ready to move on.”

Callaway will play either Banks County of Pepperell in the second round.

Those teams split a doubleheader on Wednesday, and they’ll play a decisive game three today.

In the clinching game on Wednesday, Callaway put it away early, scoring 13 runs in the first inning, with Rice doing a lot of the damage with her two three-run homers.

Rice finished  the game with four hits and eight RBIs, and she scored three runs.

Fellow senior Kelly Carlisle had three hits and an RBI, and she was a home run short of the cycle.

Kourtney Grier had three hits and two RBIs, and Jasmine Dukes had two hits and two RBIs.

Ty Godwin came off the bench and had two hits and two RBIs, Natalie Waddell had a hit and an RBI, and Leijorey Sanders had a hit.

In the first game, Carlisle had three hits with four RBIs, and Grier had four hits with an RBI.

Sanders had three hits and an RBI, and Lindsay Cofield had two hits with an RBI.

Jenkins had a hit and two RBIs, Rice, Waddell and Kalye Ann Powell each had a hit and an RBI, Kailea Speer had a hit, and Godwin had a walk and a run scored.

“I thought our approach was really good at the plate today,” Summerlin said.

While Callaway was obviously the better team, Summerlin was impressed with the way Douglass played the game.

“Douglass, you could tell they had holes in places, but number one they played hard, and they do it the right way,” Summerlin said. “They run on and off the field, and you can respect that. They had some pretty decent players.”

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