PREVIEW: Fairfield softball has high hopes this season


Fairfield High School softball coach Mark Dettweiler’s goals for this season are short and sweet: “We want to win the league championship, and we want to play in the district championship game,” he said. “We’ll compete. That’s about it.”

Last year’s Elite Eight team only had one senior, Dettweiler said — starting four freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors. This time around, the group has valuable experience that will pay off throughout the season, he said.

“We’ve got a pretty good group coming in,” he said.

Senior catcher Courtney Smith will be one of the team leaders, while senior Sherry Heckathorn will play centerfield. Shania Setty will round out the senior roster as a utility player.

Juniors Kristin May and Ashley Moore will play utility, and Carli Reiber and Emily Williams are both looking good. Dettweiler said Williams will start as short stop, but he hasn’t quite placed Reiber for sure.

“She played right field last year, but we don’t know about this year yet,” he said.

Sophomore Katie White is a solid pitcher, while first baseman Lindy Sparger, and third baseman Lauren Arnold, both sophomores, will round out the infield. Megan Gragg, another sophomore, will play left field, while Hayleigh Lowe will play outfield.

Freshman Alli Davis enters as a utility player, while Ashley Sanderson and Molly Thackston, both freshmen, will play infield.

A unique edge on the team will be freshmen Taylor and Grace Lawson – twins who will be pitcher and catcher.

“We got eight starters back from the team last year, so that’s going to be one of our definite strong points,” he said. “Katie White took us that far last year. We’ve got some pitching in Gragg and Lawson – those two will be able to fill any gaps we’ve got.”

Dettweiler said he’s excited to get the team out on the field to see what happens.

“We’ve got some really, really good games on the schedule for this year,” he said. “I’m just looking forward to getting started,” he said.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.

Fairfield’s Sherry Heckathorn grabs one in the outfield in a previous season.’s Sherry Heckathorn grabs one in the outfield in a previous season. Times-Gazette file photo
Eight starters from Elite Eight return

By David Wright

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