The Peaster Lady Greyhounds excelled in head coach Kayla Jennings’ first season with the team, reaching the area round of Class 3A playoffs.
Along the way, Peaster earned a second-place finish in District 7-3A, while standing as the only team in the district to defeat rival Brock.
The Lady Greyhounds enjoyed a strong showing in the district’s superlative category.
Freshman Kamden Hutton was named Newcomer of the Year, senior Katie Ruddy was named Offensive Player of the Year and fellow senior Rylie Melton was named Co-pitcher of the Year.
Hutton batted .495 for 50 hits including 25 singles, 15 doubles, three triples and seven home runs, racking up 31 RBIs while scoring 42 runs.
Jennings said Hutton’s on-field performance this season was even more impressive considering the other responsibilities she successfully juggled.
“Kamden since day one has worked her tail off to be the best at whatever she does,” Jennings said.
“She is a tremendous athlete, she broke the school record in hurdles, she is an officer in FFA and she excels in the classroom, [all] while softball season is going on. She is so coachable, and very mature in the way she leads her team as well.”
Ruddy also sustained a strong performance at the plate throughout the 2019 season, batting .432 for 38 hits including 15 home runs.
The senior OPOY drove in 47 RBIs while scoring 37 runs.
Jennings said Ruddy was so dangerous at the plate that other teams avoided throwing to her down the stretch.
“Katie Ruddy is one of the hardest hitting kids I have ever watched,” Jennings said.
“She has worked so hard on her swing and it is a daily thing as well. We always say, her pop ups are over the fence. The latter half of the season, teams did not throw to her as much, and when they did, she put the ball in play to score her teammates.”
Batters facing Melton, who finished with an ERA of 3.10 (151 strikeouts in nearly 120 innings pitched), batted .257.
The senior pitcher excelled at pumping up her teammates and leading by example in tight situations, Jennings said.
“Rylie is a true competitor when she is in the circle,” Jennings said.
“When she was on, her bat was fire, and her team was fire around her. We gave out a “SparkPlug” chain after every win to the player that started the rally for the game. I have tallied up who got the “spark” the most this season to be the ultimate “Sparkplug” of the year and Rylie won it.
“This team will miss her boldness in the circle and at the plate.”
Peaster earned two first-team and second-team selections apiece in District 7-3A.
Senior Taci Tatum was named a first-team infielder, while sophomore Presley Whitehead earned first-team outfield honors.
Junior Aubrey Case earned second-team infield recognition.
Freshman Ryen Browning was named a second-team pitcher.
The Lady Greyhounds also saw three of their players, seniors Chasity McKinzie, Alexis Woodall and Emily Grudt earn honorable mentions.
Hutton, Whitehead, Case, Grudt, McKinzie, [Katie] Ruddy, Tatum and Kelie Ruddy all earned academic all-district.