Addy Keylon's bat, Kayla Boseman's arm lead Ooltewah to region softball title

Addy Keylon's bat, Kayla Boseman's arm lead Ooltewah to region softball title

May 17th, 2018 by Kelley Smiddie in Sports - Preps

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd Ooltewah's Addy Keylon (7) is greeted by her teammates after she hit a three-run homerun. The Walker Valley Lady Mustangs visited the Ooltewah Lady Owls in the region softball championship on May 16, 2018

Photo by Robin Rudd /Times Free Press.

Gallery: Addie Keylon's bat, Kayla Boseman's arm lead Ooltewah to region softball title

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Addy Keylon had a good week Wednesday afternoon at Ooltewah High School.

The last of the Lady Owls senior center fielder's four hits was a three-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving the leadoff batter a career-high six RBIs. It also put a cap on a 7-3 victory over Walker Valley in the Region 3-AAA softball championship game.

Both teams will advance to state sectionals. Ooltewah (35-6) will host Lincoln County at 1 p.m. Saturday. Walker Valley (30-9) is scheduled to play at Coffee County at 8 p.m. EDT Friday.

Keylon easily had the shortest hit of the night when she led off the home half of the first with a bunt that came to rest on the third-base line close to home plate. Catcher Riley Suits double-pumped her throw to first, presumably because she wasn't sure if the ball was fair or foul.

"I thought it was going to be foul," Keylon said. "I'm really happy it wasn't."

Although Keylon ended up stranded at third, she indicated that any hit is a confidence-booster for the next time up. And that next time was in the second, when she grounded a bases-loaded single through the middle with two outs to make the score 2-0.

The left-hander also had a run-scoring single with two outs in the fourth before hitting her high drive that right fielder Abbey Davis stretched for over the top of the fence but couldn't reach.

Keylon said her hit in the second was with a new bat she bought over the weekend that she's planning to work in as the season continues. But her last time up she went with teammate Sydney White's bat, which she'd been using all season.

"I've been trying to break it in," Keylon said of the new bat. "It has pop. But Sydney's bat definitely does. She's hit well with it all year."

White went 2-for-3 with the bat, but Ooltewah's other RBI belonged to pitcher Kayla Boseman, who hit a towering homer to straightaway center in the bottom of the fifth after surrendering the tying runs in the top half.

"The ball carries here anyway," Ooltewah coach Jon Massey said, "but when the ball leaves her bat like that, that was gone."

Boseman gave up Carissa Frost's leadoff double followed by a sacrifice bunt, then struck out 12 consecutive Lady Mustangs before issuing a one-out walk in the fifth. She walked her second after another strikeout, but left-hander Davis shot a two-run double over third base and Frost singled her in to tie it.

"They've got a solid team," Massey said. "I've been saying that for a month and a half. They put the ball in play, got a call, and got back in the game."

Walker Valley coach Lauren Limburg said anytime the opposing team hits a home run it's a blow, but she was proud her team battled through to the last out. Her team was 1-3 against the Lady Owls this season coming in and battled back to tie it against Boseman, who ended up with 18 strikeouts.

"Ooltewah has a great team," Limburg said. "Boseman is a great pitcher. They've got hitters one through nine.

"The thing I'm proud of is these girls show heart and belief in each other and they have a love for each other. It's not about us as a person but about us as a team. I love coaching this group."

Contact Kelley Smiddie at ksmiddie@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6653. Follow him on Twitter @KelleySmiddie.