Overton’s walk-off sends Calera to 2nd day of state tourney, continues historic season

Published 8:04 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2022

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

OXFORD – Down to their final three outs in their first state tournament appearance in school history, the Calera Eagles were calm, cool and collected at Oxford’s Choccolocco Park on Tuesday, May 17.

The Eagles, who had already won their first-ever game at the state tournament earlier in the day, and entered the final inning of an elimination game against Springville trailing 1-0.

But they entered the inning with their hottest hitters of the day up to the plate, and they weren’t about to let the season end.

Jordan Douglas led off the inning with a rocket to center field that bounced off the fence for a lead-off double. It didn’t take long to erase the deficit, as Keara Hall continued a strong day with a game-tying single to right field.

Then, after a bunt ended in a single for Kayla Butler, she and Hall were on the corners with no outs.

That set up Issy Overton to play hero.

Having an impressive postseason stretch, Overton stepped in and blooped the second pitch she saw over the head of the second baseman for the walk-off victory to keep Calera’s season alive.

With the walk-off victory, the Eagles advanced to the final day of the state tournament as one of the final four teams left standing in the 6A classification this year.

In the win against Springville, the two teams were scoreless through four innings before Springville, who had 14 hits in the game, took the lead in the top of the fifth with a run.

Springville, however, never capitalized on the hits outside of that, which left the door open for the Eagles.

And Douglas, Hall, Butler and Overton capitalized.

Doublas finished 1-for-2 with a run scored, while Hall finished 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Overton finished with the game-winning hit and RBI.

In the circle, Calera stuck with leader Kate Townley, who went the distance and struck out five while allowing just the one run.

It marked the second win of the day for the Eagles, who beat Baldwin County in their first-ever state tournament game.

In that one, the Eagles took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third and never looked back, scoring four more in the fourth to take a 7-1 advantage.

They went on to add one more in the sixth, scoring a total of eight runs on 18 hits en route to an 8-3 victory.

Douglas and Hall both had big games in the win. Each hit a home run with Douglas finishing 3-for-3 with four RBIs and Hall finishing 3-for-3 with three RBIs. Overton also finished with three hits and one RBI, while Emma Harrison, Kinley Rodgers, Townley and Lily Townsend all had two hits.

Townley got the win in that game as well, allowing three runs on nine hits and striking out six in the complete-game effort.

Calera fell to No. 2 Athens 6-1 in the second game to fall into the loser’s bracket, but bounced back with the walk-off win to advance to the final day.

They’ll now take on Pell City at 10:45 a.m. on Wednesday. The Eagles will need to beat the Panthers, Helena and Athens (Twice) to claim the state championship.