By Mark Carpenter – People’s Defender
Despite blustery, windy, and downright cold conditions, the show must go on and on Saturday it did go on at the softball field behind Peebles High School. There, battling the wind and cold, the Lady Indians hosted the New Boston Lady Tigers in an early season non-conference doubleheader.
The weather conditions turned out to be no obstacle for the Peebles girls as they used fine pitching performances from freshmen Madison Pierce and McKenzie Swango to sweep the twin bill, 5-0 and 12-2.
The doubleheader was played as a pair of five-inning games and in Game One, the Lady Indians struck early, getting two runs in the bottom of the first with the combination of a base hit by Pierce, a walk to Aubrey McFarland, and singles by Swango and Kaitlin Toller.
In their second at-bat, the Peebles girls added two more. With the first two hitters retired, the rally began with a Kylie Sims single, followed by Pierce’s second hit in as many innings, McFarland’s second walk in as many innings, and then a two-base hit by Swango to make it 4-0 for the home team.
With Pierce rolling through the New Boston lineup, the Lady Indians made it a five-run lead in the bottom of the third on base hits by the Toller sisters, Kaitlin and Jerilin. The rest of the story was the pitching effort of the freshman Pierce, who did not allow a hit through five innings, while striking out nine as the Lady Indians claimed the 5-0 victory.
After a short break, the two teams came back to the chilly field for Game Two with Swango getting the starting nod for Peebles and she was the beneficiary of a big offensive output as the Lady Indians scored four in the first and never looked back on their way to a 12-2 win.
That four-run first inning came about as a result of walks to Pierce and Kaitlin Toller, along with base hits from Swango (who had three hits in the game), Sierra Stone, Jerilin Toller, and Matti Nichols. On the mound, Swango held the Lady Tigers scoreless for the first three frames as her teammates continued to chalk up the runs.
In the bottom of the second, a lead off double by Sims followed by base hits from Pierce and McFarland, and then with two outs, Kaitlin Toller, all culminated in three more runs crossing the plate to give Peebles a 7-0 advantage.
The Lady Indians added one more in the bottom of the third when Nichols singled and came home on Pierce’s second hit of the game. New Boston finally got their first run of the entire doubleheader in the top of the fourth, but Peebles responded in a big way with four more in the bottom half, with Swango, Stone, Kaitlin Toller, and Nichols all crossing the dish to give their side a 12-1 lead.
New Boston added a run in the top of the fifth and even if the game had not been scheduled for five innings, it would have been called anyway under the OHSAA run-rule, as the Lady Indians improved their record to 3-2 on the young season with the 12-2 rout.
The big bats were out in Game Two for the home team, as they pounded out 15 hits off of New Boston pitching in just four at-bats. Swango went the five-inning distance for the win, racking up an impressive 12 strikeouts along the way, and allowing just one hit. It was a pretty solid pitching line in the two wins for the Lady Indians as two freshman hurlers combined to allow just one hit in 10 innings and strike out 21 New Boston hitters.
The Lady Indians jumped back into Southern Hills Athletic conference play on Monday, April 4 and Tuesday, April 5, hosting Fayetteville on Monday and Whiteoak on Tuesday. On Thursday, April 7, Peebles will be on the road in SHAC play, traveling to Eastern Brown, and a busy, busy week concludes on Friday, April 8 with another conference home game, battling the Ripley Lady Jays.