Lloyd blast leads Peebles to 5-1 win over Fairfield –
By Mark Carpenter –
Finally. The monkey has departed and the Peebles Lady Indians have gotten over one of their main hurdles of the past few seasons. There was something about a match up with the Fairfield Lady Lions that brought out the worst in the Lady Indians, but that all changed last Friday afternoon on the Lady Lions’ home field. Behind another strong pitching performance from Madison Pierce and a big three-run homer off the bat of Kyndell Lloyd, the Lady Indians broke the spell and finally pinned a loss on the Lady Lions, winning the important Southern Hills Athletic Conference contest by a final score of 5-1. That made two huge conference wins in two days as Peebles had knocked off Manchester 4-1 the previous day.
“I am certainly relieved and very proud of our girls,” said Peebles head coach Doug McFarland. “The girls have always had the ability to win this game, but tonight they finally bought into our game plan. We had been pretty thorough in our game plans before, but as soon as something didn’t go right, we lost our purpose. Hopefully, my words before the game tonight were enough to calm their apprehension.”
“I told them to relax and play the way they always played growing up, worry-free and having fun, and that is exactly what they did. They put no pressure on themselves and had fun playing the game.”
Pierce fired a two-hitter and struck out five, while Lloyd’s blast over the center field fence with two on in the third inning provided the Peebles pitcher with all the offense she would need.
“Madison had a great game pitching and helped herself at the plate also,” said Coach McFarland. “That allowed the girls to dig in and get comfortable behind her. It had definitely weighed heavily on our girls, not being able to beat Fairfield and struggling to score against Kaiti (White), so I am more than happy for them. Hopefully we can take this win and build on it for the rest of the season and the tournament.”
Peebles got off to a good start in the top of the first inning off of Fairfield ace Kaiti White. With one out, Hailey Moore singled an one out later came all the way around when Pierce helped her own cause with a triple to left center to plate the game’s first run.
Pierce gave up a single to White in the bottom of the first and sat down the Lady Lions in order in the second, setting the stage for the decisive third Peebles at-bat. With one out, Brycelyn Short reached on an error and moved to second on Moore’s second base hit of the game. After Kylie Sims flied out for the second out, a second base hit by Pierce drove home Short to make it 2-0.
That brought Lloyd to the dish and she showed why her bat has forced her way into the Peebles lineup. The Peebles second baseman squared up a 3-2 pitch from White and drove it out of the park to center field, bring Moore and Pierce around in front of her and extending the lead for the Lady Indians to 5-0.
“Kyndell’s home run was such a big play for us,” said Coach McFarland. “She got the count in her favor and knew White would have to give her a good pitch, and she made the most of it. She has had some really good at-bats lately and is making the most out of her playing time.”
Pierce continued to handcuff the Fairfield hitters getting a double play in the bottom of the fifth, before finally giving up a run in the Lady Lions’ half of the sixth, when a run came home on an error to make it 5-1. Pierce got one hit away from the cycle with a one-out double in the seventh, but was left stranded when Lloyd went down swinging and McKenzie Swango grounded out.
To finish off the big “W” for the Lady Indians, Pierce did it in style, getting a strikeout and two ground outs in the bottom of the seventh as the Lady Indians picked up their ninth win of the spring and inched closer to the top spot in the small school division of the SHAC, where Peebles, Fayetteville, Manchester, and Fairfield are all now bunched up near the top.
The Lady Indians were next slated to be in SHAC action on Tuesday, April 24, hosting the Whiteoak Lady Wildcats for the first time this season. On Thursday, they will travel to North Adams, also a conference affair.
Peebles Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Short 4-1-0-0, Moore 4-2-2-0, Sims 4-0-0-0, Pierce 4-1-3-2, Lloyd 4-1-1-3, Swango 4-0-1-0, Reed 2-0-0-0, Toler 3-0-0-0, Behr 2-0-0-0. Team 31-5-7-5.
Extra-Base Hits: Pierce 2B, 3B; Lloyd HR
Fairfield Hitting (AB=R-H-RBI): Spargur 3-0-0-0, Reiber 3-0-0-0, White 3-0-1-0, Hatton 3-0-0-0, Thackston 2-0-0-0, Arnold 3-0-1-0, T. Lawson 3-0-0-0, Gragg 3-0-1-0, Fox 3-0-0-0, Sanderson 0-0-0-0, G. Lawson 1-0-0-0, Hester 0-1-0-0, Team 27-1-3-0.
Pierce (W) 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, o BB, 5 K
White (L) 7 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K