The Area 8 tournament completed the careers of the team’s four seniors – catcher Sara Beth Minton, shortstop Brittany Holloway, third baseman Sarah Garner and leftfielder Savannah Tant,
“This group of seniors was very special. Every one of them played a very important role on the field this year,” said softball coach Terrace Ridley. “Their spots are going to be hard to fill.”
Ridley also praise the group for accepting the younger players and establishing a spirit of unity and camaraderie.
In the 6-2 loss, Saks took command with five runs in the home half of the second inning and one in the third. Piedmont’s first run came in the fourth when Garner singled, moved to third on a base hit by Madison Pike and stole home. In the seventh, Pike reached second on a two-base error and scored when Minton reached on an error.
Garner and Pike finished with two hits each. Holloway, Savannah Tant and Caitlin Tant added a single each. Kayleigh Williams struck out three and did not issue a walk.
Against Weaver, Piedmont got one run in the bottom of the second. Pike walked. Minton had a base hit. A walk to Peggy Ridley loaded the bases and Kendall Pressley got an RBI the easy way when she drew the third walk of the inning.
In the third, Pike, Cheyenne McPeek, Ridley, Pressley and Williams each had an RBI as Piedmont pushed its lead 6-0. Caitlin Tant and Williams had doubles in the rally.
After Pressley set the Bearcats down in order in the top of the fourth, Piedmont added three runs. Garner walked to start the inning, stole second and stole third. Minton’s single scored Garner. After McPeek walked, two more runs scored on wild pitches.
Pressley faced the minimum in the fifth, this time with a little help. The Bearcats started with a hit but Minton threw to Holloway at second base on an attempted steal to erase the runner.
The game ended with one out in the fifth when Holloway, who had walked, scored on a wild pitch.
Minton finished with two hits. Garner had one hit and three walks in four plate appearances. Ridley had one hit and two walks. Garner, Pike, Minton, and McPeek each scored twice. Pressley had two RBIs on offense. Her pitching line was two hits, no walks and three strikeouts in five innings.
The Bulldogs’ final game was scoreless for four innings. Batting as the visitors, Saks got single runs in the fifth and sixth innings and two in the seventh. Piedmont scored in the seventh. Holloway led off with a single and scored on Minton’s two-out base hit to center.
Holloway was 2-for-3. Rachel Baggett had Piedmont’s fourth hit. Williams struck out six Wildcats in a strong effort against Saks star Taylor West.
Ridley said she felt the biggest area of growth for this year’s team was younger players having the opportunity to make the adjustment to the faster pace of the varsity game. She said Peggy Ridley had established herself in centerfield and that Williams, an eighth-grader, had matured while pitching against formidable lineups like those of area opponents White Plains and Saks.