Lady Indians fall in district semis

The Peebles Lady Indians finished the 2016 season with a record of 17-6 and were winners of the big school division of the SHAC and the Division IV sectional. Front row, from left, Josie Myers, Aubrey McFarland, Hayley Rolfe, McKenzie Swango, and Kylie Sims; Back row, from left, Sierra Stone, Jessica Sowards, Kaitlin Toller, Jerilin Toller, Johna Dunigan, Matti Nichols, and Madison Pierce.
The Peebles Lady Indians finished the 2016 season with a record of 17-6 and were winners of the big school division of the SHAC and the Division IV sectional. Front row, from left, Josie Myers, Aubrey McFarland, Hayley Rolfe, McKenzie Swango, and Kylie Sims; Back row, from left, Sierra Stone, Jessica Sowards, Kaitlin Toller, Jerilin Toller, Johna Dunigan, Matti Nichols, and Madison Pierce.

Super season ends at 17-6 for Peebles girls

By Mark Carpenter –

An exciting ride through the 2016 season finally came to a close on May 19 for the Peebles Lady Indians softball squad, but what a fulfilling spring it has been for Coach Doug McFarland and his troops. After knocking off Portsmouth Notre Dame 8-5 to win a Division IV sectional championship, the Lady Indians moved on to district play last Thursday where they faced a very tough opponent in number one seeded Symmes Valley.

The outcome of the district semi-final contest was not what the Lady Indians had hoped for as the Lady Vikings proved worthy of their top seed and advanced in the postseason with a 5-0 win over the squad from Peebles.

To face the Lady Vikings, Coach McFarland called on freshman Madison Pierce, who has been the ace of the pitching staff all season. Symmes Valley sent District Player of the Year Kaitlyn Payne to the mound and it was Payne who took the day, scattering eight hits and getting the shutout victory.

“We were certainly hoping for a different outcome,” said Coach McFarland. “Our kids played well and never gave up. We had several opportunities during the game but just couldn’t get that one hit we needed to get things rolling. Symmes Valley was good and their seniors were the difference in the game. Payne did a great job on the mound and at the plate.”

The Lady Vikings got the early jump, scoring two times off of Pierce in the bottom of the first inning. The Lady Indians got a base hit from Mckenzie Swango in the first, Kaitlin Toller and Sierra Stone in the second,and a walk to Aubrey McFarland in the third, but were unable to get any of those runners across home plate.

Symmes Valley put more distance between themselves and the Lady Indians in their half of the third when they tallied three more scores, highlighted by a Payne home run, to take a commanding 5-0 advantage.

Peebles continued to scrap but their best chance of breaking through and making a game of it came in the top of the sixth when they loaded the bases and actually had five base runners but did not score. In the top of the seventh, the Lady Indians went down in order and when Pierce popped out to first base for the final out, the Peebles season came to a close, but with nothing to be ashamed of as they ended with a record of 17-6 with a Southern Hills Athletic Conference championship and a Division IV sectional championship under their belts.

The loss was the final game in the careers of three seniors for the Lady Indians-Hayley Rolfe, Kaitlin Toller, and Sierra Stone.

“Overall, we had a great season,” added Coach McFarland. “We had three all-league selections in Kaitlin Toller, Madison Pierce, and McKenzie Swango and those three plus Aubrey McFarland also earned all-district honors. The girls have a lot to be proud of. We lose three great seniors, but we will have a good returning group. I know many of our returnees will be participating somewhere in softball this summer.”

“I’m looking forward to getting back to work with them next fall. We have a bright future with a lot of hard working girls and the next several years should be a lot of fun.”