Calera softball stays alive, takes down Jemison
By TREY HICKMAN/For the Reporter
WEST BLOCTON — Calera rebounded nicely from a 14-0 blanking by Bibb County by preserving its championship hopes with a 6-0 win over Jemison on Day 1 of the Class 4A Area 7 softball tournament May 1.
The throttling by Bibb County pitted the Eagles against Jemison in an elimination game. Thanks to more than enough offense in the opening inning and a stellar pitching performance by Katie Eiland, Calera stayed alive.
The top of the first provided some foreshadowing as Calera’s Charley Clark kicked off the scoring with an RBI fielder’s choice, and Jennifer Townley and Somer Roberson each drove in a run on a walk to help the Eagles to a quick 3-0 advantage.
Shelby Clark collected an RBI single in the second inning while Mallorie Gillbert scored on an error in the sixth and Heather Griffith drove in a run on a fielder’s choice in the seventh as Calera notched a trio of insurance runs on its way to the win.
In the circle, Eiland eased to victory, tossing a complete-game one-hitter, walking three and striking out three in seven innings of work. She never faced more than four batters in any one inning and retired the side four times.
“She came in and pitched well,” Calera coach Chris McCrackin said.
Kenyah Speigner led the way at the plate for the Eagles, going 1-for-2 with a triple, two walks and three runs scored. Gilbert and Nicole Harrelson each singled while Griffith and Charley Clark scored a run apiece.
“We only had three hits but we had a lot of walks that helped us out and a few hits when we had runners on,” said McCrackin. “So that kind of helped things out (to) score some runs there. We’re missing our third baseman (Shelby Wright). She’s gone on a band trip so we’re having a little adversity there. We’re having to move people around and she was our No. 4 hitter. So you take your (No.) 4 hitter out of the lineup it’s going to hurt.
“So that kind of hurt us a little bit but it’s one of those deals that you just have to fight through.”
Calera fought through well enough to stay afloat and advance to Day 2 of the tournament.