Pelham posts 11 runs to outpace Calera in county battle

Published 4:47 pm Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

PELHAM – The bats were hot early and often for the Pelham Panthers as they picked up their third straight win with an 11-6 victory over the Calera Eagles on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Pelham High School.

The Panthers jumped out to a 4-0 lead as they scored double digits to outpace the Eagles.

After Pelham got out of the top of the first with a one-two-three inning, the first three Panthers runners reached base to start out the bottom of the frame.

The last hit of that sequence was a two-run double by Jordan Howard to put Pelham on the scoreboard with a 2-0 lead.

While the second inning came and went without a run from either side, Jordan Young took advantage of a one-out single by Jessica Gray to triple to right two batters later and make the lead 3-0.

Young then reached home on the next at bat thank to a passed ball that put the Panthers up 4-0 after three innings.

Calera responded in the top of the fourth as Kinley Rodgers and Isabella Overton kicked off the inning with back-to-back singles.

While Pelham earned two straight outs to put the pressure on the Eagles, an error by the Panthers opened the floodgates for the visitors.

That error led to the Eagles’ first run of the night and kicked off three straight scoring plays for Calera. Lexi Johnson hit an RBI single to cut the deficit to two, and Whitney Holtzapel followed that up with a two-run single to tie the game at 4-4.

That score line held until the bottom of the fifth when Pelham began to pull away for the win.

Laini Stewart hit a lead-off double and an error put two runners on for Howard, who earned her third RBI of the night on a single to take a 5-4 lead.

On the next at bat, Young then hit a three-run home run to make the lead four runs after the fifth inning.

The Panthers continued the onslaught in the sixth inning with a Stewart single and Gray walk to start the inning followed by an error that scored the ninth run for the hosts.

Three batters later with the bases loaded and one out, Taylor Howard hit an RBI single followed by a Rebecca Roy RBI sacrifice fly to close out the scoring for Pelham and make the score 11-4.

The Eagles scored a pair of runs in the top of the seventh off a Bristol Rogers RBI double and an Overton groundout that brought Rogers home, cutting the final deficit to five runs as Pelham earned the 11-6 win.

McKenzie Little earned the complete game win, striking out five batters against 11 hits, two walks and two earned runs out of six total runs.

Pelham will look to make it four wins in a row when it hosts Pleasant Grove on Thursday, Feb. 29 at 5 p.m.

Calera will return home to face a tough test in the Thompson Warriors on Thursday, Feb. 29 at 5 p.m.