FHS clinches 7th straight SHL championship


The Fairfield Lady Lions took the field Friday in new uniform jerseys seeking their 24th Southern Hills Athletic Conference title and seventh consecutive championship as they faced the North Adams Lady Devils. Fairfield did not disappoint their fans as it defeated its guest in six innings, 11-1.

Katelyn Chambliss was brilliant in circle notching her eighth win of the season. She scattered four hits, allowed a single earned run, had no walks, and struck out batters.

After a slow start, the Lady Lion offense caught fire pounding out 12 hits to score 11 runs. Sydney Sanders led the offense with three hits (two triples and a single) and Jobey Hattan hit a mammoth home run to lead off a four-run fifth inning. Meanwhile, the Lady Lions played errorless softball for the third consecutive game.

Fairfield concluded the game with a record of 9-3 in the SHAC and 12-7 overall, while North Adams fell to 3-9 in the SHAC and 4-12 overall.

North Adams scored a run in the top of the third inning on a double by Carlee Garrison and a single by Karis Tumbleson to a 1-0 lead. But Chambliss retired the next 10 consecutive Lady Devil batters.

Fairfield answered with four runs in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, Sydney Hooper was safe on an infield hit and Rilee Quickle doubled to score Hooper. Jobey Hattan was safe on an infield base hit as Quickle advanced to third base. Sydney Sanders singled to drive in Quickle. Faith Miller grounded out to score Sanders.

Fairfield added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on singles by Chambliss and Carly Sanders.

The Lady Lions widened the lead to 10-1 with four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Hattan led off the inning with a mammoth home run over the left field fence. Sydney Sanders tripled, Miller was hit by a pitch and Emmi Vance grounded out to score Sanders. Chambliss singled to knock in Miller. Gwen Cox entered the game as a courtesy runner for Chambliss. Carly Sanders singled and Addison Bales drew a base on balls. Hooper grounded out to score Cox.

Fairfield ended the game early with a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Hattan was safe on an error to lead off the inning, but was caught stealing. Sydney Sanders stepped to the plate and tripled to deep left field. Miller hit a walk-off double to left center field.

Leading hitters for the Fairfield Lady Lions: Hooper (1 for 3, 1 run, 2 RBI), Quickle (1 for 4, double, 1 run, 1 RBI), Hattan (2 for 4, home run, 2 runs, 1 RBI), Sydney Sanders (3 for 4, 2 triples, 3 runs, 1 RBI), Miller (1 for 3, double, 1 run, 1 RBI), Vance (0 for 3, 1 RBI), Chambliss (2 for 2, 2 runs, 1 RBI), Carly Sanders (2 for 3, double, 1 run), and Addison Bales (0 for 2, 1 RBI).

Katelyn Chambliss (8-5) was the winning pitcher for Fairfield. In six innings, she allowed four hits, one earned run, no walks, and eight strikeouts.

Carlee Garrison (4-2) suffered the loss for North Adams. In four innings, she allowed eight hits, eight runs (seven earned), one walk and struck out three.

Karis Tumbleson pitched 1.3 innings and gave up four hits, three earned runs, two walks, struck out none.

FHS hosts two teams

On Saturday Fairfield hosted Portsmouth Notre Dame and New Richmond. The Lady Lions lost Notre Dame, ranked No. 7 in Division IV, 12-2, and to New Richmond, the Southern Buckeye Conference American Division champion, 8-7.

In the other game Notre Dame beat New Richmond, 2-1.

After playing errorless softball over the last three games, committed four errors in the top of the first inning against Notre Dame that led to six unearned runs. Fairfield would rebound in the bottom of the first inning to score two runs on a single by Hooper, a double by Quickle, and a single by Miller.

Notre Dame erupted for six more runs in the top of the fourth inning to end the game early.

Chambliss suffered the loss for Fairfield and Kyndall Ford picked up the win for Notre Dame.

It was the battle of the Lady Lions in the third game of the day as Fairfield, the visiting team on the scoreboard, faced off against New Richmond. Again, Fairfield gave up six runs in the bottom of the first inning. The big blow was a grand slam home off the bat of Rae Hartigan. But freshman Quickle rebounded to retire the next two hitters.

Fairfield score two runs in the top of the third inning. Sanders led off the inning with an infield single. Hooper laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance Sanders clear to third base. With two outs, Quickle doubled to center field to drive home Sanders, Hattan drew a base on balls, and Sydney Sanders singled to center to drive home Quickle.

New Richmond scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take an 8-2 lead.

Fairfield batted around in the top of the fifth inning with four runs on five hits to make the score 8-6. Bales led off with a single to right center field. Hooper followed with a single to center field, forcing New Richmond to make a pitching change. Quickle singled, Sydney Sanders reached on a fielder’s choice, Miller drove in two runs with single to left center field, Vance was safe on an error to drive in a run, and Chambliss singled.

Quickle would give way to Vance, who entered to pitch the bottom of the sixth inning and retired the side in order.

Fairfield rallied in the top of the seventh inning. Needing two runs, Hattan knocked down the margin with a towering home run over the left field fence, forcing New Richmond to change pitchers again. Sydney Sanders ripped a single to center field and two outs later Chambliss singled to advance the tying run into scoring position. Kelsey Clark entered the game as a pinch runner for Chambliss. Carly Sanders stepped to plate and laced a hard ground ball down the third base foul line that would have tied the score, but it was inches foul. She then hit a hard ground ball, but right at the third baseman who got the force out at third base to end the game.

Fairfield will also host a Southeast District Division III Sectional final game on Thursday, May 11 against Westfall. Game time is 5 p.m.

Submitted by Thomas E. Purtell, Fairfield softball.

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