Seven locals named All-Conference in softball –
By Mark Carpenter –
In an early May meeting, the softball coaches of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference selected the 2018 SHAC All-Conference Softball Team. Nineteen young ladies from the conference were recognized, a number that included seven players from the four Adams County high schools- Madison Pierce, Kylie Sims, and Hailey Moore from Peebles, Josie Campbell and Brooke Kennedy from Manchester, Olivia Anderson from North Adams, and Savannah Holbrook from West Union.
The highest honor that the conference bestows on one of its softball athletes also went to an Adams Countian, as Peebles junior Madison Pierce was named by the coaches as the SHAC Player of the Year.
Pierce put together an outstanding junior campaign, both as one of the area’s top pitchers and at the plate, as the Lady Indians tied for first place in the SHAC’s small school conference with a 10-3 mark. In the center circle, Pierce went 14-3 with a minuscule earned run average of 0.92. She pitched a total of 114.3 innings and logged 170 strikeouts, walked only 24, and allowed just 55 base hits. A control pitcher, 71% of her pitches went for strikes. At the plate, Pierce hit .385 with 30 hits in 78 official plate appearances, including six doubles, five triples, a pair of home runs, 20 runs batted in, striking out just five times all season.
Pierce’s battery mate with the Lady Indians, junior Kylie Sims, was also named All-Conference, after a season that saw her masterfully handle the team’s catching duties, while hitting .431, 31 hits in 72 at-bats. Sims rapped out five doubles, two triples, and a home run, while driving home 18 runs. Sims also drew 10 walks and even with all the rigors of the catching position, led the team in stolen bases with 11, and on defense, committed just two errors.
The Manchester Lady Greyhounds placed two players on the All-Conference squad, led by junior catcher Josie Campbell, who produced one of the most impressive offensive seasons in recent memory. Campbell, who can spray the ball to all fields, batted .559 for the spring, banging out 38 hits in 68 at-bats, and remarkably, only struck out one time the entire season. She drove home 24 runs and scored 19, while garnering 13 doubles, and posting a .750 slugging percentage. Behind the plate, Campbell’s fielding percentage was a sparkling .969, committing just four errors.
Lady Hounds’ freshman Brooke Kennedy repeated her All-Conference basketball performance with an All-Conference softball season, handling the majority of the Manchester pitching duties and also playing shortstop. On the mound in nine starts and four relief appearances, Kennedy was 6-5 with an earned run average of 2.24, tossing 65.2 innings, striking out 70 hitters, and allowing 66 hits. At the plate, the freshman hit .464 with 32 hits in 69 at-bats, a number that included nine doubles and a homer, 17 RBI’s, and a .667 slugging percentage.
Rotating between third base and the pitcher’s rubber, North Adams senior Olivia Anderson also earned All-Conference recognition. Appearing in 20 games, Anderson hit .452 with 28 hits and 17 runs batted in, with an on-base-percentage of .514.
Finally, another senior, West Union southpaw Savannah Holbrook earned All-SHAC honors, leading the Lady Dragons in hitting and being one of the more versatile players in the Lady Dragons’ lineup, usually finding herself manning center field or bringing her left-handed style to the center circle.
The remainder of the 2018 SHAC All-Conference Softball Team included: Lauren Arnold, Lyndee Spargur, and Kaiti White from Fairfield; Whitney Broughton, Taylor Dotson, Andrea Edmisten, and Allison Malott from Eastern Brown; Courtney Gross from Whiteoak; Abby Lewis from Ripley; Hannah Morgan from Lynchburg; and Paige and Zoe Vilvens from Fayetteville.
All of the honorees were recognized at the SHAC Spring Sports Awards, which were held at Peebles High School on Monday, May 21.
SHAC Softball Final Standings:
Division I (Big School):
Eastern Brown 13-0
North Adams 3-10
West Union 1-12
Division II (Small School):