Memorable senior day for Jenkins
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
She made it a senior day to remember.
The Callaway High softball team beat Temple 4-0 on Tuesday afternoon to wrap up the number four seed for next week’s Region 5-AA tournament.
Following the game, the team’s four seniors were recognized.
One of those seniors, Oeisha Jenkins, not only pitched a complete-game shutout, but she hit a solo home run in the fourth inning to give her team the lead.
Two of the other seniors, Jasmine Dukes and Lydia Bartlett, had hits during a three-run sixth inning that gave Callaway some breathing room.
After the dramatic win, Jenkins, Dukes, Bartlett and Kailea Speer were honored during a ceremony on the field.
It was an emotional day for Jenkins, who has been friends and teammates with her fellow seniors for years.
“I played recreation ball with them. We started in T-ball together,” Jenkins said. “It means a lot to come out here and play with them, to play together. We try to be leaders on the team.”
Jenkins, a four-year starter, said “time flies by in the blink of an eye.”
“You can’t take anything for granted,” she added. “You have to come out here and execute everything our coaches taught us.”
Robyn McCann is in her first season as Callaway’s head coach, but she was an assistant on the team the previous three years, so she knows the seniors well.
McCann even taught some of the seniors when they were students at Callaway Elementary School.
“They’re my heart,” McCann said. “They’re my babies.”
McCann has put a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the seniors, and she’s thrilled with how they responded.
“I sat down and talked to them in June,” McCann said. “I told them I needed them to be my leaders, and to help me this year. They’ve been amazing.”
Callaway has two regular-season games remaining.
After hosting Troup today, Callaway visits Bremen on Thursday for its final Region 5-AA game.
The region tournament begins next Tuesday.
Callaway, which will be the number four seed, will play fifth-seeded Temple in a play-in game.
While the winner advances to the semifinals and secures a spot in the state playoffs, the season will be over for the losing team.
A year ago, Callaway finished fourth in the region and won the program’s first-ever state-playoff series.
Callaway swept the two regular-season games from Temple.
The first game was a blowout, with Callaway rolling to a 14-0 win, but Tuesday’s game was much more competitive.
After three scoreless innings, Jenkins led off the bottom of the fourth with her solo home run, and Callaway led 1-0.
That’s the way it remained until the Lady Cavaliers broke it open with three runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Dukes led off with a base hit, and Bartlett, Kourtney Grier and Natalie Waddell followed with RBI hits to give Callaway a 4-0 cushion.
Bartlett and Waddell each finished with two hits, and Dukes, Jenkins, Grier, and Lexi Furgerson had one hit apiece.
“Today was big,” Jenkins said. “It was senior night, and to win to keep our place in the region was really big.”