Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
By a vote of the conference coaches, the Southern Hills Athletic Conference recently released its All-Conference Girls Softball Team, a group which included six young ladies representing the four Adams County schools.
Leading the way with a trio of all-conference selections were the Peebles Lady Indians, champions of the SHAC big school division (12-1), with an 18-4 overall mark.
Peebles’ sophomore pitcher Madison Pierce had a season to remember, making her an easy choice for all-conference honors. On the mound, Pierce started all 22 games for the Lady Indians, finishing 18-4 with an 0.96 earned run average, throwing eight shutouts and two perfect games. The right hander threw 138 innings, striking out 194 batters while walking just 22. Besides her exploits on the mound, Pierce batted .507 on the spring, banging out 35 hits in 69 at-bats. She scored 24 runs, drove in 18, with nine doubles, a triple, and a home run, while only striking out two times all season. Add in a .561 on-base percentage and a .710 slugging percentage, and 12 stolen bases in 13 attempts, and Pierce put together a memorable 2017 campaign.
When your pitcher has such an outstanding season, a lot of credit has to go to her battery mate and the SHAC coaches recognized Lady Indians’ catcher Kylie Sims for her efforts in 2017. Sims hit .406 (26-64) and drove home a team-high 29 runs, scoring 12 herself. The Peebles backstop had five doubles, walked 13 times, and was a perfect 6 for 6 in stolen base attempts. Behind the plate, she had an .889 fielding percentage.
Rounding out the trio of Peebles honorees was center fielder Jerilin Toller, who batted .415, garnering 27 hits in 65 official at-bats. Toller played in all 22 games for the Lady Indians, with 15 runs batted in, six doubles, and 22 runs scored for a team that averaged 8.1 runs per game. Toller drew 10 walks and was 10 for 11 in stolen base attempts.
Representing the Manchester Lady Greyhounds on this year’s All-SHAC squad was Karley Young, who hit .353 on the year with 24 hits in 68 at-bats. Those hits included six doubles and produced 13 runs batted in. Young drew a dozen bases-on-balls and scored 19 runs for a young Lady Hounds team. She was 6 for 8 in stolen base attempts and carried a .457 on-base percentage. In the field while playing at various positions, Young made just two errors in 67 total chances.
The only Adams County senior to be named all-conference was North Adams’ Caitlin Young. Though her team struggled in 2017, Young was a mainstay, making a position change from three years as the team’s number one catcher to an infielder, spending time at shortstop and first base. Young batted .282 in 39 at-bats, drove home five runs, and rapped out three doubles, with a .317 OBP.
West Union center fielder Savannah Holbrook was also named to the All-SHAC Team after finishing the 2017 season with a .375 batting average, possessing the unique combination of throwing and hitting left-handed. Holbrook had an outstanding defensive season in center field and at the plate, her left-handed stroke produced four doubles and a triple, while she also drew nine walks.
All of the All-SHAC Girls Softball Team were recognized in the conference’s Spring Sports Awards, which were held on May 22 before a full house at Peebles High School.