Senior third baseman Sarah Garner, sophomore outfielder Peggy Ridley, freshman pitcher Kendall Pressley and pitcher-outfielder Kayleigh Williams, an eighth-grader, each made the first team that was voted on by the coaches of the four 3A schools in Calhoun County, Piedmont, Saks, Weaver and White Plains.
Awarded honorable mention status were senior shortstop Brittany Holloway, senior catcher Sara Beth Minton and freshman second baseman Madison Pike.
Piedmont had four seniors, no juniors and only three sophomores on its roster when the season opened. Four freshmen and an eighth-grader completed the varsity roster. After an inconsistent start, the Bulldogs played some of their best softball in the second half of the season.
“Those younger girls, they were just coming into the program … and trying to adjust to everything that was totally new to them. … Trying to get them where we had those seniors, it took longer than expected because they were so young,” said head softball coach Terrace Ridley.
Ridley was especially pleased with the way the veterans and rookies blended together as the season progressed.
“Those (senior) girls saw the potential there for those younger girls and that’s what gave them the drive to keep going and stay with it because they knew eventually (the younger players) were going to get better,” she said.
Garner led the Bulldogs in home runs with five and in runs with 22. Her eight triples accounted for more than half of the team’s total of 15. She tied for the team lead in runs batted in with 18 and hit .385.
Ridley scored 16 runs and had six RBIs and two triples. She hit .280 and her team-best 13 walks bumped her on-base percentage to .429.
Pressley and Williams handled the pitching chores for Piedmont. In 108.1 innings, Williams struck out 79 batters. She recorded seven wins and had a 4.01 earned run average.
Pressley had 41 strikeouts in 44.1 innings. She picked up eight wins and had a 2.37 ERA.
At the plate, Williams led all Bulldog batters with 32 hits, including seven doubles and three triples. She tied Garner for the team RBI lead with 18 while batting .381.
In 24 plate appearances, Pressley was 9-for-19 – a .474 average – and drove in 11 runs.
Holloway finished second on the team in runs with 22. She was 23-for-79 with two doubles, two home runs, and 12 RBIs. She walked 10 times and was hit by pitches twice, upping her on-base percentage to .385.
Minton hit .344 with an on-base percentage of .408. Her 22 hits included nine doubles and a triple and she drove in 13 runs. Behind the plate on defense, she was charged with just two errors all year.
Pike scored 15 runs and had 11 RBIs. She was 24-for-69, a .348 batting average. Pike struck out only nine times in 75 plate appearances and was Piedmont’s only player with more than 60 plate appearances and fewer than 10 strikeouts.