Peppers off to strong start in 2019

Peppers off to strong start in 2019
The Peppers are currently on a three-game winning streak. (Source: Rob Clark)

NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Aussie Peppers of Minnesota won three of four in the squad’s first NPF series of the 2019 season.

Earlier this week, we caught up with the team that’s adjusting to life in Mankato, Minnesota.

“Mixed weather, that’s the first thing I noticed right away, hot and cold, hot and cold, but you get used to it. That’s why we have jumpers and shorts for,” said Janice Blackman, Peppers OF.

“Those bugs are bad because generally when I’m doing a TV interview I swallow one, so it’s been good right now, but Mankato is a beautiful city,” said Laing Harrow, Peppers head coach.

Just a few weeks ago, the Aussie Peppers rolled into Mankato not only adjusting to life in Minnesota, but also stayed busy preparing for the upcoming season.

The Peppers are currently on a three game winning streak having won the opening series at home against the Beijing Shougang Eagles.

“It was really really good. I thought we meshed together really well considering it was the first game. We only had a week to do it. We all knew each other from playing against each other, but playing like that was good to see,” said Blackman.

“It is very pleasing to see it come together and win a series. We have new players coming in haven’t played together before, a couple of close games to start with. I think that win in extra innings was important for us, and I was very pleased with the way we finished off those two games in the doubleheader,” said Harrow.

“It was a great turnout, I thought especially that first night, there was a really fun atmosphere, all the little girls looking into the dugout with awe, and that was a really cool feeling,” said Coley Ries, Peppers pitcher.

The Peppers offense came up with some timely, clutch hitting in the squad’s first series of the season, while the pitching staff came out and struck out 34 batters in 29 innings pitched. That unit currently holds a 1.21 earned run average after four games.

“They came out really dominant, that’s what I was impressed with, even though it was the first game, they were dominant, it didn’t matter who was out there, they just came out and dominated. They own that mound, it’s like I’m pitching to you, you’re not batting to me, I’m pitching to you,” said Blackman.

The Peppers will need that quality pitching when the squad suits up for a doubleheader this Tuesday against the Cleveland Comets and the USSSA Pride.

“They’re quality teams, I guess from our point of view, we’re still working together as a group and want to get stronger as a group. We want to set the standard and not chase, and hopefully we can do that with a doubleheader coming up,” said Harrow.

We’ll have more from the 3–1 Peppers later this week on KEYC News 12.

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