Calera softball falls in pitcher’s duel

Calera's Katie Eiland worked 5 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and one run (earned) while walking three and striking out two in a loss to West Blocton April 24. (Contributed/Stacey Criss)

Calera’s Katie Eiland worked 5 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and one run (earned) while walking three and striking out two in a loss to West Blocton April 24. (Contributed/Stacey Criss)

By TREY HICKMAN/For the Reporter

WEST BLOCTON — Offense proved quite elusive when visiting Calera and West Blocton met in a Class 4A Area 7 matchup April 24.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth, West Blocton’s Anna Bedford broke the monotony with an RBI single that knocked in Kaci Champion, and a three up, three down top of the seventh for Calera’s bats sealed the Tigers’ 1-0 win.

For five innings the Eagles’ Katie Eiland and West Blocton’s Sarah Lippeatt were locked in a bona fide pitchers’ duel. Eiland kept the Tiger bats at bay during that span, surrendering only three hits (all singles) and tossing four innings of no-hit ball. Lippeatt, meanwile, allowed two hits (both singles) over that period. Lippeatt followed by dealing a 1-2-3 sixth before the Tigers finally came through in their half of the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, Eiland retired Jodie Farnetti before sending Champion to first via a walk. Calera head coach Chris McCrackin then pulled Eiland and Emily Sanders took over in the circle. After yielding a hit and inducing an infield fly, Sanders served up Bedford’s go-ahead single.

“Our girls fought,” said McCrackin. “They were very focused today which I was very proud of. And I thought mentally we were in the game. We’ve had some issues up and down all year, just trying to stay focused because we’re still a young ball club even though (we) had a great year last year. I’m only carrying three seniors.”

Calera dodged a bullet in the bottom of the fifth when Eiland worked out of a huge jam after West Blocton’s first three batters singled, though she ultimately lost the shutout as well as the game. Eiland worked 5 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and one run (earned) while walking three and striking out two.

Shelby Clark and Somer Roberson recorded a hit apiece as the Eagles dropped to 14-13-1 overall and 4-2 in Class 4A Area 7.

West Blocton will host the area tournament starting April 29.