Walk-off win gives Calera softball team area championship, perfect area record

Published 8:32 am Thursday, April 20, 2023

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By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

CALERA – Stepping to the plate in the bottom of the seventh down by five runs, the Calera Eagles remained calm with an area championship on the line on Wednesday, April 19.

What happened next was special for the home team and their crowd.

The Eagles quickly had an out put on the board, making the comeback seem even more far-fetched, but they never gave up hope, which led to a rally from there.

Back-to-back errors gave Calera life by putting two runners on base. That was all of the confidence the team needed.

From there, four singles in a row from Kate Townley, Tyeshia Williams, Lily Townsend and Keara Hall brought home three combined runs and set up a bases-loaded opportunity for Isabella Overton with one out and the team down by one run.

Despite the adrenaline of the moment, Overton was patient and watched three consecutive pitches for balls to set herself up in a 3-0 count.

Back-to-back strikes, however, put even more pressure on the at bat. Overton, like the rest of the team, remained calm, and on the sixth pitch of the at bat, she drove a ball up the middle to center field.

Not only did her hit bring home Williams, but Townsend was able to round home and beat a throw home for the game-winning run in walk-off fashion to give Calera a thrilling 8-7 victory.

Not only that, with the win, the Eagles finished area play a perfect 6-0 with sweeps of each area opponent, including the Tigers, to claim the Class 6A, Area 5 championship.

It continued an impressive stretch for the Eagles, who have now won eight of the last 10 games with six of those being area wins to claim the title as they look to embark on another special postseason run after last year’s trip to the state tournament.

Calera didn’t have to fight from behind the entire night, earning a 2-0 lead through four innings of play, but Chilton County erased the deficit with three runs in the top of the fifth to make it 3-2.

The Eagles quickly responded with one run in the bottom half, but the Tigers scored two more in both the sixth and seventh innings to create the four-run separation going to the home half of the final inning for Calera’s last chance.

The Eagles came through clutch with five of their 10 hits in the final inning to complete the comeback win.

Hall led the team with a 3-for-3 showing at the plate with a walk to reach base safely in all four of her trips, while Overton led the team with four RBIs on one hit.

Williams had two hits and two walks with an RBI and three runs scored, while Townley and Townsend each had a hit and an RBI. Kinley Rodgers and Megan Overton also added one hit each in the win.

Townley got the start in the circle and struck out six over 6 1/3 innings of work, while she allowed two earned runs and seven total on five hits and a walk. Bristole Rogers closed out the final two outs with a strikeout in that span.