Peebles girls make it back-to-back in the SHAC –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
For the second consecutive season, the Peebles Lady Indians softball squad has claimed the big school division of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, bringing that hardware home with a pair of conference victories late last week, both of the shutout variety, blanking North Adams 13-0 on April 27 and Lynchburg 12-0 the following day.
Those two wins left the Lady Indians with an 11-1 conference mark at press time, with only a game with West Union on Monday to complete the conference title march and then a string of non-conference tilts to prepare for next week’s beginning of tournament play.
In the Thursday win over North Adams, sophomore pitcher Madison Pierce threw another gem, a two-hit shutout, striking out 10. For good measure, Pierce also blasted a two-run homer over the left field fence in the bottom of the third, part of a 12-hit attack for the Peebles offense.
“It was a nice win,” said Peebles head coach Doug McFarland. “We put in a good practice the day before working on some hitting issues, and I feel the girls really pushed themselves in the game to make the corrections. Madison had another nice game. She has been pretty consistent this year. She pounds the strike zone and forces kids to swing, which has worked out since we have been fielding the ball pretty well behind her. At the plate, she keeps getting better every game. She has an incredible attitude and puts in the work to improve daily.”
The Lady Indians struck early and often in this five-inning run rule win, getting three runs in their first at-bat, with a double to left by Aubrey McFarland bringing home one and a two-run single by third baseman Christian Reed accounting for the other two.
Peebles tacked on five more in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of two North Adams errors and getting run-scoring hits from Kylie Sims and Josie Myers. Pierce went deep with one on in the bottom of the third off of Lady Devils’ starter Macey Jarvis and the home team finished off their scoring with a pair in the fourth on back to back run-scoring doubles by Matti Nichols and Hailey Moore.
Pierce was dominant again from the center circle, giving up just two hits, both of them doubles to North Adams third baseman Olivia Anderson. Batting in the leadoff spot, Moore went a perfect 4 for 4, scoring three times and driving home two. Nichols was also perfect at 2 for 2, also scoring three runs.
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N. Adams Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Neal 2-0-0-0, Bunn 2-0-0-0, Young 2-0-0-0, Anderson 2-0-2-0, Jarvis 2-0-0-0, Eiterman 2-0-0-0, Siders 2-0-0-0, Yoder 1-0-0-0, Smith 2-0-0-0, Team 17-0-2-0.
Extra-Base Hits: Anderson 2B (2)
Peebles Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Moore 4-3-4-2, McFarland 3-1-1-1, Pierce 2-2-1-2, Toller 2-1-1-0, Sims 3-1-1-1, Reed 3-0-1-2, Myers 3-0-1-1, Brown 1-2-0-0, Nichols 2-3-2-1, Team 23-13-12-10.
Extra-Base Hits: Nichols 2B, McFarland 2B, Moore 2B, Pierce HR
Winning Pitcher: Pierce
Losing Pitcher: Jarvis
The Lady Indians improved their season mark to 14-3 on the season and 11-1 in the SHAC by blanking Lynchburg 12-0 on Friday, April 28. Again, it was a five-inning run rule win for the Peebles girls,and again a shutout for Pierce, this time giving up just one hit, retiring 15 of the 16 hitters she faced, nine of those via the strikeout.
The Peebles offense again took care of business early, scoring four times in the first inning and then adding seven more in the bottom of the second. One more in the third capped off another “W” for the Lady Indians as the goal of a conference title was in hand and the goal of a long postseason run begins next week.