Pendleton returns most of the team who played in state tourney last season
Sam McClanahan has watched Mary Pettit's team play hundreds of innings of fast pitch over her coaching career including their march to the KHSAA State Tournament. When she resigned as head coach, it was a front page story and of course he needed to write it. KPA honored his story with 3rd place for best Sports Story. It is below.
After four successful seasons of leading the Pendleton County Ladycats Fastpitch Softball program to unprecedented heights, head coach Mary Pettit is stepping down.
Pettit announced her decision on the morning of October 19 via her Facebook and Instagram accounts. She met with her club the night before to inform them that she would not be returning in 2020.
After becoming a mother for the first time to a baby boy, Boomer, in August; Pettit stated that she wants to dedicate more time to her husband Kyle and family.
“Ladycat softball has made some great memories on the diamond in the past four years. Being this team’s head coach has been an amazing experience and I am blessed to have had this opportunity. It is with a heavy heart that I have announced my resignation. I will be stepping away in order to spend time with my family, specifically our new addition, my son Boomer,” she said.
For Pettit, her tenure as coach has always intertwined with family. Her sister Katie and brother-in-law Josh Chaplin have been by her side as assistant coaches since day one after she took over the program in early 2016. Together, they pulled the program up from the lowest point in its existence and turned it into a powerhouse. Pettit concludes her career with a 68-48 overall record that includes a school-best 26 wins last season.
The 2019 club will undoubtedly go down in history as perhaps the most memorable season in program history as Pettit and company upset Harrison County to claim their first district title in over 20 years.
They followed that up with a thrilling run through the 10th Region Tournament held at Campbell County and claimed the Ladycats first ever regional crown and the opportunity to play in the state tournament. Pendleton County would then knock off Ninth Region foe Dixie Heights to move onto the final eight at John Cropp Stadium in Lexington.
Pettit spoke fondly of the lasting memories made with her team as she has watched them develop and thrive over the past four years.
“I’ve watched many of these girls go from little seventh graders to beautiful strong young women. All of them have a special place in my heart. We’ve shared many laughs and tears together throughout the seasons. I’ll never forget the crazy bus rides, warm and fuzzy time, the conversations on the mound and the loudest dugout anywhere.”
“I want to thank each and every player that has been apart of Ladycat Softball team. Thank you for all your hard work, time and dedication to your program and your coaches along the journey. I would also like to thank those coaches that assisted me in my tenure, specifically Katie and Josh Chaplin. Never stop believing in one another and keep the energy up.”
Pendleton County Athletic Director Jordan Woodruff released the following statement.
“Pendleton County Schools would like to thank Coach Mary Pettit for her dedication and service to the Pendleton County softball program over the last 4 years. Under her leadership, the softball team has reached extraordinary heights, culminating with a regional championship, sectional championship, and appearance in the quarterfinals of the KHSAA softball tournament in 2019.While it is bittersweet for Coach Pettit to step away as the head softball coach, Pendleton County Schools respects her decision and wishes her nothing but the best as she spends more time with her family and newborn baby. We look forward to Mary, Kyle, and Boomer continuing to be an integral part of our community and school system for years to come.We will begin a search for a new coach immediately, and feel that the success and foundation of the current team and program will attract talented candidates from all areas. The team will return 10 starters from its regional championship team, and looks to continue building on that success for years to come, making this a coveted position with unlimited potential for success.”
For those interested in the position, you can apply online at www.pendleton.kyschools.us and click on employment.