Peebles girls are 6-1 in the SHAC
By Mark Carpenter – People’s Defender
Don’t look now, but Coach Doug McFarland and his Peebles Lady Indians varsity softball squad are putting together quite an impressive 2016 season, standing at press time with a record of 9-2 and riding an eight-game winning streak. The Lady Indians are also right in the thick of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference race with a 6-1 record in conference play.
The Peebles girls are hitting all cylinders with a combination of youth and experience, relying on a mostly freshman battery, along with a mix of upperclassmen to string together the wins. Since sweeping a doubleheader from New Boston on April 2, the Lady Indians have won six consecutive SHAC contests with victories over Fayetteville, Whiteoak, Eastern Brown twice, Manchester, and Lynchburg.
On April 15, the Lady Indians battled the Manchester Lady Hounds and came away with a 14-5 win. Swango got the starting nod and blanked the host Lady Hounds for two innings before running into control problems and being relieved by Pierce in the third as Manchester scored four times to take a one-run advantage. Pierce held the Lady Hounds to just one run from that point on while the Peebles offense took over with three in the fourth and six in the sixth to pull away for another SHAC victory.
In the Manchester win, the freshman Swango was big at the plate, getting four hits in five official at-bats, joined in a four-hit afternoon by Jerilin Toller, with another freshman, Kylie Sims, adding three base knocks.
The second win over Eastern Brown came on April 14, behind the pitching of freshman Madison Pierce and an offense that scored in four different innings. Peebles got base hits in the first inning from Aubrey McFarland, McKenzie Swango, Sierra Stone, and Kaitlin Toller to score twice and then got an RBI double from Jessica Sowards in the third for a 5-0 lead. the Lady Warriors battled back in their half of the fifth, touching up Pierce for four runs, but a run-scoring hit by Jerilin Toller provided the final margin in a 6-4 Peebles triumph.
Tuesday, April 19 saw the Lady Indians hosting the Lynchburg Lady Mustangs and rolling to a 13-2 win in five innings. Jessica Sowards pitched the five innings for the win, while the offense was paced by a triple and double by Pierce, a double and single by McFarland, two singles by Sowards, and three hits by Sims.
Sporting their 9-2 record, the Lady Indians were scheduled to continue their quest for an SHAC title on Thursday, April 21, when they hosted the winless Ripley Lady Jays. With all of the early season cancellations, the quirks in the make-up schedule have the Peebles girls traveling to Ripley on April 25 and then to North Adams on April 26.