Peebles takes two of three in Rock ‘N’ Fire Tournament –
Story by Mark Carpenter –
Photo by Amy Huffman Swango –
After handling most of their opponents in southeastern Ohio, the Peebles Lady Indians softball squad had a special opportunity last weekend to display their talents in the northern part of Ohio as they traveled to Akron to compete with 19 other teams in the 2017 Rock “N” Fire Tournament.
The Lady Indians got to play three games against competition other than what they usually see, and came out on the winning side twice, defeating the Mathews Lady Mustangs 3-1 and the Geneva Lady Eagles 10-3 on Saturday. The only blemish on the trip came on Sunday when Peebles faced the Division II Lady Bulldogs of Poland Seminary and dropped a 16-4 decision.
Game One of the trip came on Saturday afternoon and the Lady Indians used the formula that has been their key to success all spring, great pitching and timely hitting to top Mathews. Sophomore Madison Pierce threw a seven-inning complete game while the Peebles offense banged out 10 hits.
The Lady Indians scored first with a single tally in the top of the second on two-out back to back two-base hits by Josie Myers and Hope Brown.
Mathews tied the game in the bottom of the fourth, but Peebles took the lead for good in their half of the sixth,when Christian Reed led off with a single and scored when Myers’ hit to right was misplayed by the Mathews right fielder. The Lady Indians added an important insurance run in the top of the seventh when Hailey Moore doubled, was sacrificed to third by Pierce, and came home on a Kylie Sims base hit to make it 3-1.
Pierce made that lead stand up in the bottom of the seventh, allowing a walk but then retiring the next three hitters to seal the win.
Pierce went the distance, surrendering just two hits and striking out four. On offense, Moore, Reed, and Myers all chipped in two hits.
010 001 1 –3
000 100 0 –1
Peebles Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Moore 3-1-2-0, Pierce 3-0-1-0, Toller 4-0-1-0, Sims 4-0-1-1, Reed 4-1-2-0, McFarland 3-0-0-0, Myers 3-1-2-0, Brown 3-0-1-1, Nichols 3-0-0-0, Team 30-3-10-2.
Extra-Base Hits: Brown 2B, Myers 2B, Moore 2B
Peebles Pitching: Pierce 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 82 pitches
“It was a great opportunity for our girls-quality teams, good fields, and a great atmosphere for softball,” said Peebles head coach Doug McFarland. “I thought Saturday we played our best softball of the year, against a very good Mathews (D4) team nd a solid Geneva (D2) team.”
“Our defense was solid both games and our small ball and hitting finally got together. Pierce, Myers, and Nichols all had great days on Saturday.
After their first win of the weekend, the Peebles girls came back later on Saturday to battle the Lady Eagles of Geneva High School. out of Ashtabula County. This time it was the big bats of the Lady Indians making the difference as they pounded out 13 hits, four of those by Matti Nichols, on their way to a 10-3 triumph.
Playing as the home team, the Lady Indians struck early, getting three runs in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Pierce was hit by a pitch followed by a walk to Jerilin Toller. A base hit by Sims brought home Pierce with the first run, and a Myers base hit made it 2-0. Sims came home on a Geneva error and the Lady Indians were rolling.
After the Lady Eagles tied the game, getting to Pierce for three runs (only one earned) in the top of the third, Peebles took the lead for good in the bottom half, getting run-scoring base hits off the bats of Moore and Pierce to go up 5-3.
From there, it was the Lady Indians scoring in all three of their remaining at-bats, while Pierce shut the door on the Geneva offense, allowing just two hits over the final four innings.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Lady Indians tacked on two more on a fielder’s choice ground out by Myers and an RBI single from Nichols. One more run in the bottom of the fifth came when Toller walked and came home on a two-bagger by Reed to make it 8-3. The final two runs of the game came in the Peebles half of the sixth, the first coming home on a triple by Nichols, who then scored on a Moore double, making it 10-3.
That seven-run cushion was more than enough for Pierce as she set down the Lady Eagles 1-2-3 in the top of the seventh to clinch a perfect Saturday in northern Ohio for the Lady Indians and their 10th win of the spring.
Nichols was the big gun at the plate in the second win, going 4 for 4 and driving in a pair, with Moore and Pierce each adding two hits, and Myers scoring three times. Eight of the nine batters in the Peebles lineup had base hits in the Peebles “W”.
003 000 0 –3
302 212 x –10
Peebles Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Moore 5-0-2-2, Pierce 4-1-2-1, Toller 2-2-0-0, Sims 3-1-1-1, Reed 4-1-1-1, McFarland 2-0-1-0, Myers 4-3-1-2, Brown 4-1-1-0, Nichols 4-1-4-2, Team 32-10-13-9.
Extra-Base Hits: Reed 2B, Moore 2B, Nichols 3B
To finish off their stay in the “Rubber Capital of the World”, the Lady Indians matched up on Sunday morning with Division II Poland Seminary from Mahoning County with the game being played in Firestone Stadium, home of the Akron Racers pro softball team.
The final game didn’t go quite as well as the previous two, as the Lady Bulldogs scored 11 times in their first three at-bats on their way to a 16-4 victory.
“Sunday was a different story,” said Coach McFarland. “We played on the stadium field at 11 a.m. and I don’t know if it was the time, being on the big stage, or a very good Poland Seminary team, but we just didn’t seem to be our normal selves. The girls battled, but Poland was the better team that morning.
“The girls enjoyed the trip and are hoping we can make this a yearly event for PHS softball. A great group of parents and great kids made it a very enjoyable weekend for this coach. I was very happy going 2-1 in Akron and am looking forward to the rest of the softball season with these kids.”
The loss left the Lady Indians with a record of 10-3 on the season and they returned home to now focus on winning the big school division of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, where they lead with a 7-1 mark at press time.
This week Peebles was slated to play Ripley at home and North Adams at home in SHAC play.