By Mark Carpenter – People’s Defender
The beat rolls on for Coach Doug McFarland and his young and talented Peebles Lady Indians varsity softball squad and that roll continued in the past week at the expense of the Ripley Lady Jays, as the Lady Indians swept a home and home series in dominating fashion, shutting out the Jays 13-0 on April 21 and then 12-0 on April 25.
Both of the games were Southern Hills Athletic Conference contests and the two wins improved the Peebles girls to 11-2 on the season, 8-1 in the SHAC.
The April 21 game was played on the home field of the Lady Jays, which is actually located in Aberdeen, but the site didn’t matter as the Lady Indians overcame a slow start to pound out a 13-0 run rule win in five innings. Again it was the freshman pitching combo of McKenzie Swango and Madison Pierce being on target, with Swango throwing the first four innings and Pierce mopping up in the fifth.
After being held scoreless in the top of the first, Peebles scored once in the second on an RBI hot by Matti Nichols and then tacked on a big six-spot in the third, getting base hits from Pierce, Aubrey McFarland, Swango, Kaitlin and Jerilin Toller, Jessica Sowards, and Kylie Sims to take a 7-0 advantage.
Back to back triples by McFarland and Swango keyed another six-run inning, this time in the fourth, as the Lady Indians finished off the five-inning run rule win to hit double digits in victories for the season.
Swango scattered five hits over her four innings of work, while Pierce threw a hitless fifth to seal the deal.
Four days later, the same two teams met in Peebles, with a result that nearly mirrored their previous meeting. This time it was junior Jessica Sowards taking her turn in the pitching circle, giving up two doubles to Ripley lead off hitter Elizabeth Campbell, but nothing else in the 12-0 shutout win.
In the win, the Peebles offense scored in all four of their at-bats, as again, the game was stopped in the fifth per the OHSAA run rule. A four -run bottom of the first, fueled by two-base hits by Swango and Kailtin Toller, got things rolling for the home team. In the bottom of the second, three consecutive Ripley errors led to two more Peebles runs and a 6-0 lead.
Sowards singled and scored on a Sims ground out in the third and the Lady Indians wrapped things up in the fourth, getting back-to-back-to back hits from Swango, Josie Myers, and Kaitlin Toller along with a two-bagger from Sims to go on top 12-0. Sowards set down the Lady Jays in the fifth and the young ladies from Peebles had sewed up their 10th consecutive “W”.
The Lady Indians looked to keep their winning streak alive on Tuesday, April 26 when they were slated to travel to North Adams for an in-county SHAC battle (which was suspended by weather in the fourth inning) and then, weather permitting, were set to face the West Union Lady Dragons on consecutive days, Wednesday and Thursday.