Tourney time for Callaway
Published 11:15 pm Tuesday, October 1, 2019
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
Callaway had Heard County on the ropes.
In the opening round of last year’s Region 5-AA softball tournament, Callaway had a 7-0 lead over Heard County when Kourtney Grier hit a grand slam.
Unfortunately for Callaway, it was unable to hold onto that lead, with Heard County rallying for the 10-7 victory to advance to the region-championship game where it beat Lamar County, while Callaway lost to Bremen in the third-place game.
Flash forward a year and those two rivals are getting ready to play again in a first-round game in the region tournament, will all the games to be contested at Heard County’s softball complex.
Heard County, the tournament’s number one seed, will play fourth-seeded Callaway on Thursday at noon.
In the other first-round matchup, second-seeded Bremen and third-seeded Lamar County will play at 2 p.m.
At 4 p.m., the losers of the first two games will meet in the third-place game, and the championship game is scheduled for 6 p.m.
The first-place and second-place teams will be at home for the first round of the Class AA state playoffs, while the other two teams will go on the road for their state openers.
For Callaway, it’s been a successful season so far.
With wins over Shaw and Jordan last week, Callaway (14-12) assured itself of a winning record in the regular season.
In region play, Callaway went 4-0 against Temple and Jordan, but it has been unable to break through against the top three teams.
The closest Callaway came to beating one of those teams came on Aug. 20 when it had the late lead before losing to Lamar County 11-10.
Against Heard County on Sept. 12, Callaway scored 10 runs in the fifth inning, but it lost the game 17-11.
Callaway head coach Robyn McCann’s hope is that her players will be at their best on Thursday.
“If they zone it, they can do it,” McCann said. “That’s what we’re telling them. We had the lead on Heard last year (in the region tournament).”
Whatever happens on Thursday, Callaway will participate in a best-of-three state-playoff series on Oct. 8 against a team from Region 7-AA.
The second round of the state playoffs is on Oct. 15, and the final eight teams will compete in the state finals in Columbus from Oct. 24 to Oct. 26.
WHERE: Heard County
SEEDS: 1 – Heard County, 2 – Bremen, 3 – Lamar County, 4 – Callaway
SCHEDULE: Callaway vs. Heard County, noon; Bremen vs. Lamar County, 2 p.m., third-place game, 4 p.m.; championship game, 6 p.m.