Nalley sisters have Raiders rollingApril 4, 2019
By HENDRIX MAGLEY
HUNTINGBURG — There’s always been a natural competition between Peyton Nalley and her younger sister Kennedy.
Whether it’s at softball practices and games or just in friendly competitions the two have at home, there’s always been one common goal that the sisters have shared — find a way to make each other better.
“People have often asked if there’s fights between us about whoever does better but there’s not, it just helps us both compete,” said Peyton. “It can get heated — I once threw a ball at her head — but it’s just because we’re competitive.”
Kennedy added: “If I’m doing something wrong, she lets me know and if she’s doing something wrong I’ll let her know. We’re not scared to hurt each other’s feelings, it helps to have someone get on you like that.”
It’s been evident that the Nalley’s have played a vital role in Southridge’s fast start this season on the diamond as the Raiders were victorious 9-1 over county foe and Pocket Athletic Conference rival Forest Park at home on Thursday evening to improve to a perfect 4-0 on the year.
Kennedy had a solo home run (her second of the season), a double and a two-RBI single to finish 3-of-4 on the day while Peyton had a triple and single to finish 2-of-3.
“Those two are something — they’re just ultra competitive. They’re not afraid to get on each other, they’ll get after each other if they have to,” said Southridge head coach Scott Buening. “It rubs off on the rest of these kids as well.”
The Raiders (4-0, 2-0) struck first in the bottom of the first inning as Rachel Trent scored Amanda Brewer on an RBI groundout to make it 1-0 and then shortly after that, an error allowed Mikah Goeppner to reach base safely and Kennedy Nalley came home to score to make it 2-0 Raiders.
Defensive errors were something that limited the Rangers (1-2, 0-2) defensively for most of the night. They committed six errors which allowed Southridge to get several second chance opportunities.
“They don’t score nearly as many runs as they do if we don’t give them extra outs,” Forest Park head coach Kelly Schroering said. “We have to be better, we have to eliminate the errors on defense.”
Forest Park had a solid chance to get on the board in the third inning as Macie Zink ripped a single and advanced all the way to second base on a Southridge error. After Amber Theising walked, the Rangers had runners on second and third but left them stranded as Raider pitcher Lydia Genet forced a popout.
Southridge expanded its lead in the bottom of the third as Kennedy Nalley sent a ball out of the park for a solo home run that made it 3-0.
Just four batters later, senior Megan Buechler sent a moonshot over the wall for her first career home run which put the Raiders up 5-0.
“That hit was really big for her — she’s really been spending time working on her hitting and she’s been frustrated the past couple of games,” Buening said. “I’ve been trying to get these girls to understand that sometimes even the All-Stars get out 7 out of 10 times — that’s softball.”
Southridge expanded its lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning courtesy of an RBI groundout from Amanda Brewer. The Rangers scored their lone run in the top of the fifth inning as Kennedy Sermersheim drove in Zink with an RBI double.
The Raiders’ insurance runs came in the bottom of the sixth inning as they sent seven batters to the plate with three of them coming home to score. Kennedy Nalley drove in Peyton Nalley and Macie Marley with a two-RBI single to make it 8-1 and Trent’s sacrifice fly to score Maddie Songer was the game’s final run.
Lydia Genet improved to 3-0 on the season as she gave up seven hits and three walks while striking out five on the mound.
Allyson Werner fell to 1-2 for the Rangers as she gave up seven hits and three walks while striking out three. Schroering was impressed with Werner’s past couple of performances (one-hitter against Washington) but she’s still hoping to see more consistency from the team as a whole.
“They hit a home run and she bounced right back and got the next girl out — that’s what you have to do,” Schroering said. “Southridge came out tonight and they were ready to attack us. What’s important to me is, are we going to grow? That’s what I want to see, we either win or we learn.”
Southridge will have a tough contest tonight as they’ll face off against Bedford North Lawrence, who MaxPreps has ranked No. 11 in the entire state regardless if class.
Buening knows it’ll be a challenge against the Stars and sophomore standout Sarah Stone, who already has verbally committed to the University of Kentucky.
“For us, this is a great opportunity to find out what a state champion caliber team looks like,” Buening said. “If adversity hits, I expect us to come back and answer, we’ve done a nice job of that this year. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
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