Calvary silences the doubters

Calvary Baptist made quite a few statements when it captured its fourth state softball championship in Broussard over the weekend.

One was that it doesn’t seem to matter in what class or division the Lady Cavaliers play. Saturday’s 8-4 victory over Opelousas Catholic School gave Calvary its second consecutive Division IV state championship. The Cavs also went back-to-back when they won the Class 2A title in 2016 and the Division III title in 2017. Next season, they will move back up to Division III.

The Cavs also showed they can win with offense and defense. Their quarterfinal victory over Central Catholic was a pitcher’s duel that went scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning, when senior Kelsey Coburn put down a bunt that induced a two-base error to score pinch runner Maggie Moore from second base. Calvary eighth grader Kynzee Anderson, who went toe-to-toe with Central Catholic senior pitcher Hallie Crappell, gave up just three hits and struck out four in the complete-game shutout.

And the play of that game came on defense, when ninth grader Elana Franks made a spectacular, diving catch at the left-field wall in the top of the seventh inning to deny an extra-base hit that certainly would have changed the momentum of the game.

Then at the state tournament in Broussard, Anderson kept the opponents’ bats quiet and pitched out of a number of jams while the Calvary bats lit up St. Julien Park.

In Friday’s 7-1 victory over Riverside Academy, Franks went 4-for-4 with two RBI singles, seventh-grader Carlie Guile was 3-for-4 with two triples and two RBIs, seventh grader Mallory Carver went 2-for-4 with one RBI, Coburn put the Cavs on the board in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI single, and sophomore Mary Grace Woodle had an RBI double. Oh, and by the way, Anderson gave up just four hits and struck out six.

“Our bats were alive,” Calvary coach Tiffany Wood said after Friday’s win. “That was a good all-round game.”

So was Saturday’s victory. Anderson, who got out of a number of jams in innings 3-5, earned MVP honors by striking out 12 batters and giving up just six hits and three walks. And at the plate? Sophomore DJ Lynch went 2-for-5 with a three-run home run and an RBI single, sophomore Ramsey Walker was 2-for-3 with two doubles, and junior Tavia Leadon was 2-for-3 with a two-run homer.

All of the above are pretty loud statements. But the loudest, perhaps, is that the Cavs are for real.

“A lot of people doubted us,” Wood said after the championship game.

The Cavs were doubted because of their youth – this season, they started two seventh graders, two eighth graders, one freshman, three sophomores, one junior, and one senior. The above tells you they may be young in age, but they’re veterans on the softball field.

The Cavs were doubted because of their record – they went into the playoffs as the No. 2 seed with a 20-12 record. Opelousas Catholic went into the playoffs as the No. 1 seed with a 25-5 record. Lost on anyone who doubted Calvary was the fact that the majority of the Class 1-A Cavs’ regular season was against 5A teams – with six wins over those opponents.

“We play the toughest schedule in the state,” Calvary assistant coach Greg Frazier said immediately after the championship game. “A lot of people would have cratered. It made us even better.”

Looks like the doubters have been silenced.

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