Callaway looks for state success
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Callaway’s softball team is looking for more state success.
A year ago, Callaway won its first ever state-playoff series when it beat Douglass-Atlanta in the opening round.
Today, Callaway will visit Social Circle in the first round of the Class AA state playoffs.
Callaway is the number four seed from Region 5-AA, and Social Circle won the Region 5-AA championship.
They’ll play a doubleheader today at 5 p.m., and if needed, a third and deciding game would be on Wednesday.
The series was originally going to start on Wednesday, but the schedule was pushed up a day because of the threat of poor weather.
While the Lady Cavaliers lost both of their games in the region tournament, they have some momentum after strong showing against two quality teams.
In the first round, Callaway had a 7-0 lead over Heard County thanks to a two-run home run by Lydia Bartlett and a grand slam by Kourtney Grier, but it ended up losing 10-7.
In the third-place game against a strong Bremen team, Callaway hung tough before losing 4-2.
The showing against Heard County was particularly impressive.
Heard County went on to win the region championship, and it’ll be one of the favorites to win the state title.
“They run-ruled us a month ago,” McCann said. “We’ve definitely improved, and worked hard.”
Leading the way are a talented group of seniors, including four-year starter Oeisha Jenkins, who will be on the mound today.
Two other seniors, Jasmine Dukes and Bartlett, are also multi-year starters, and Kailea Speer is a key bench player.
At some point, and she’s hoping it’s not today, Jenkins knows her time playing with her friends and teammates will end.
“I play 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.”
The seniors are joined by a talented group of underclassmen, including Grier, Leijorey Sanders, Alexus Furgerson, Natalee Waddell, Lindsay Cofield, Aaliyah Morman, and Alora Vetsavong, who have all started and played well.
“I am so proud of them,” McCann said. “There’s stuff we still need to work on, but they have improved so much. They’re working every day. They come to hit on Sundays sometimes. It’s amazing how much they want to be there.”
WHAT: Opening round of Class AA state playoffs
WHEN: Today, 5 p.m. (doubleheader); Thursday, noon (if needed)
WHERE: Social Circle
ON THE LINE: Winner advances to round of 16 of Class AA state playoffs