Mac Rhodes hits home run, Callaway cruises to victory in opening playoff game

Published 5:01 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2022

It was no problem for the Callaway softball team in its opening game of the super regional on Tuesday as the Cavaliers beat Walker 17-1. 

The Cavaliers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning, but it was almost not to be. Walker got a runner all the way to third base in the top of the first, but Mackenzie Toney slammed the door on any chance of the Wolverines plating a run. 

Toney was immense, allowing just five hits and no earned runs on two strikeouts during her three innings on the mound. 

In the bottom of the first it was the steady bat of Ava Shuford that propelled the Cavaliers to an early lead. She hit a single to drive in Emma Bryan, who hit a triple to open the game. Bryan was as steady as ever, going 3-for-3 with two runs scored. 

Shuford scored later in the inning on a passed ball before Kinley Smith hit an RBI single to make it 3-0.

The Wolverines were quick to answer back in the second inning. Walker scored on a steal of a home to cut the lead to 3-1, but once again Toney pitched her way out of a jam. 

The third inning saw the Cavaliers batter Walker and take a commanding lead. It started with Smith who has kept up her torrid end to the regular season by hitting her second RBI single of the game. She was 2-for-2 with two RBIs, a run scored and a walk.  

Savannah Rice scored on a passed ball and just like that the Cavaliers jumped out to a 5-1 lead.  Brianna Patillo grounded out to drive in the sixth run. Kylah Harris and Mackenzie Rhodes followed with RBI singles before Rhodes scored on a passed ball later in the inning. Shuford followed with an RBI single to make it 10-1. Two batters after Shuford, Rice delivered the dagger with a two RBI double to make it 12-1. Rice, a freshman, had a big first playoff game, going 2-for-3 with a RBI and a run scored. Kaitlyn Williams tried to one up her freshman counterpart by driving in two runs with a double as well to make it 14-1. Rhodes then proceeded to steal the headlines by hitting an inside the park home run to drive in three more runs and end the game before the conclusion of three full innings. 

Karlie Walker had a good offensive showing as well, going 3-for-3 with a run scored. 

Callaway will play again at 7 p.m. against Union County with the winner advancing to the super regional finals.