Two big innings was all it took for the Fairfield Lady Lions softball team on Tuesday night as they are heading back to the district finals on Saturday after defeating Trimble 13-1 in a five inning run-rule.
Things didn’t get started for the Lady Lions until the third inning as things were relatively quiet the first two innings for both teams. Katelyn White, the pitcher for Fairfield, kept the Trimble girls at bay the whole game, striking out 12 batters in the five innings. Her only allowed run was a homerun late in the game that accounted for Trimble’s only run.
Lyndee Spargur led off the bottom of the third inning for the Lady Lions with a single and then Sherry Heckathorn reached on an and made it to second, sending Spargur to third. Grace Larrick and Carli Reiber had back-to-back hits with a single and double respectively, and then White was walked. Emily Williams reached on an in the next at-bat followed by a double by Kourtnie Smith and finally an out on a ground ball from Lauren Arnold. Spargur, Heckathorn, Larrick, Reiber, Shania Setty (pinch runner for White), Williams, Smith, and Gragg all scored in the inning giving the Lady Lions the 8-0 lead.
Fairfield only padded their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with five more runs, sending Larrick, Reiber, Setty, Williams, and Smith across the plate to give them their final total of 13 runs. Fairfield kept the deficit over 10 runs in the top of the fifth giving them the run-rule and a final of 13-1.
“It took us a bit to get started today but once we got rolling it was pretty good,” said Fairfield Head Coach Mark Dettwiller after the win. “We have four freshman starting and the sophomores didn’t play much last year so this team is very young and doesn’t have a whole lot of experience in the tournament.
“We talk about taking our at-bats from the first inning back to the dugout and sharing what you saw. And actually they do pretty well for a young team. By the third inning, that’s usually when we start to make those adjustments, even though we hadn’t made it through the order yet. In that inning, we started hitting the ball.
“It’s a good feeling getting back to the district championship and we’re proud to be representing the Southern Hills Athletic Conference down here again. We’re proud of these kids and they’ve been working their tails off all year to get here. It’s one of our goals every year to get to district finals.”
The Lady Lions will now face off against Paint Valley who won their game right after the conclusion of the Lady Lions 13-1 win. They will play them right back at Minford High School with an 11 a.m. start.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.