Like a good team, Overton saved its best softball for mid-May – when it counts.
The Bobcats avenged two season losses to regular season champ McGavock and thumped the Raiders 14-4 in the championship game of the District 12-AAA tournament Thursday afternoon at Hunters Lane High.
The victory made Overton the kings and queens of the diamond in 12-AAA. A day earlier, Overton’s baseball team won its championship with a 12-3 victory over McGavock.
“We practiced, we’ve grown and we’ve learned,” coach Gerald Carter said when asked about Overton’s improvement in softball over the last month. “We’ve just kept steady when things weren’t going well.”
Overton beat McGavock 10-6 in the tournament semifinals Tuesday, then lost to the Raiders 7-6 Wednesday in the winners bracket finals Wednesday. That forced a deciding game, and McGavock earned a spot in it when it rallied for a 9-7 victory over Hunters Lane earlier in an elimination game.
“The amazing thing is we have no seniors, which is quite an accomplishment for our team,” Carter said. “We’ve gained a little confidence each game and started believing in ourselves.”
The Bobcats arrived with their hitting shoes on. Eight of the nine Overton players had at least one hit and the team had 15 in all. Tiffany Smith and Shelby Smith both went 3-for-5. Jacenda Garrett, who homered Wednesday, went 3-for-4 and had three RBIs.
“We really wanted it,” Tiffany Smith who reached base four of her five times, said. “We made some adjustments against their pitcher from the first time. We wanted to come out strong, and we did.”
Added leadoff hitter Dominique Hannah: “We were much more patient at the plate this time. We’ll just see how far we can go.”
Overton (16-3) will host a semifinal game in the Region 6-AAA tournament, 4 p.m. Monday at 4 p.m. McGavock will go on the road Monday. The teams will find out their opponents after the District 11-AAA tourney is concluded Friday.
The teams dominated the all-district selections. Overton had had Hannah, McClain and Shelby Smith and Tiffany Smith. McGavock players named were Keely Hunt, Erika Tillman, Hayley Moon, Courtney Geralds and Destiny Patton.
Freshman pitcher Callie Lusk (13-2) got her second win of the tournament over McGavock and avenged an earlier loss to the Raiders by hurling a complete-game six-hitter. She struck out two and walked seven.
McGavock took a 1-0 lead when leadoff batter Kristy Charles scored on an error, but Overton blew it open with a five-run second, which included RBIs from Tiffany Smith and Jay Bonds.
The Bobcats added four more in the fifth, keyed by a two-run double by Jazzia McClain. Shelby Smith’s two-run single highlighted a three-run Overton seventh, putting the icing on the cake.
Charles scored two runs, and No. 9 hitter J.C. Cornwell had two singles to lead McGavock (15-10).
Catcher Brittany Stevens leaped on top of Lusk, and started the victorious dogpile to the right of the mound, just before Overton posed for championship pictures.
It’s a celebration that’s suddenly common at Overton.