A day after completing a very successful regular season, the Fairfield Lady Lions (17-1, 13-0 SHAC) took the field again to start the second season, the OHSAA tournament as they played host to the Western Latham Lady Indians. The Western Latham Lady Indians defeated the Glenwood New Boston Lady Tigers 6-5 on Monday to advance to the Sectional Championship game.
The game was played at the Fairfield Baseball and Softball Complex in Leesburg on a cloudy and cool day before a capacity crowd. The Fairfield Lady Lions may have played their most impressive game of the season blanking the Western Latham Lady Indians 15-0.
Kaiti White was absolutely brilliant in the circle throwing a one hit shutout while striking out 12 Lady Indian batters as the Lady Lions played error-less softball. Meanwhile the Lady Lion offense collected 17 hits including 6 extra base hits. Kourtnie Smith and Lauren Arnold both blasted long home runs. Smith’s first of the season and Arnold’s third of the season. Smith had tremendous day at the plate with two doubles, a home run, and six runs batted in. The Lady Lion base runners were aggressive on the base paths. The Sectional Championship was the Fairfield Lady Lions 16th consecutive Sectional Title and the 31st overall.
The Fairfield Lady Lions were extremely focused and excited from the very first pitch. As White struck out the first three batters she faced in the top of the first inning. In the bottom of the first inning, lead-off hitter Sherry Heckathorn caught the defense playing back and dropped the perfect drag bunt down the third base line for an infield hit. Carli Reiber executed the perfect sacrifice bunt to advance Heckathorn to second base. White then beat out an infield hit as Heckathorn went to third base. Smith then stepped to the plate and blasted a home run over the centerfield fence for three run home run. With two outs, Arnold singled to center-field, Lyndee Spargur also followed with another single to centerfield. Shania Setty then singled to left field to drive in Arnold as Western catcher Kylie Tong threw back to third base to get Spargur out at third base on a close play.
The Lady Lions added three more runs in the bottom of the third inning. Emily Williams led off the inning with a base on balls and Arnold stepped to the plate launched a towering home run over the left field fence. Spargur followed with a line drive base hit up the middle. Shania Setty laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Spargur to second. Two outs later, Heckathorn laid down a bunt single to score Spargur.
The Fairfield Lady Lions erupted for eight runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. In the inning, Reiber singled, White singled, Smith doubled, Williams doubled, Spargur singled, Setty doubled, Megan Gragg was safe on an error, White singled, and Smith doubled.
White would close out the game in the top of the fifth inning, facing four batters and striking out all four batters. Jordyn Haggy struck out, but reached first base on a dropped third strike – wild pitch.
Leading hitters for the Lady Lions: Heckathorn (2 for 4, 1 runs, 2 rbi), Reiber (1 for 3, 1 run), White (3 for 3, 3 runs, 1 rbi), Smith (3 for 4, 2 doubles, home run, 2 run, 6 rbi), Williams (1 for 3, double, 2 runs, 1 rbi), Arnold (2 for 3, home run, 2 run, 2 rbi), Spargur (3 for 3, 2 runs, 1 rbi), Setty (2 for 2, double, 1 run, 1 rbi), Gragg (0 for 3, 1 run).
White (17-1) was the winning pitcher for Fairfield. White’s Pitching line: 5 innings, 1 hit, no runs, no earned runs, no walks, and 12 strikeouts. Jordyn Haggy suffered the loss for Western. Haggy’s pitching line: 4 innings, 17 hits, 15 runs, 11 earned runs, 2 walks, and 1 strikeout.
The Lady Lions were voted the seventh best team in Division IV in the week four coaches poll.
The Fairfield Lady Lions advance to play in the Southeast District Tournament at Minford High School next Thursday, May 18th at 6:00 PM. The Lady Lions will face the Racine Southern Lady Tornadoes (10-11). Southern defeated Waterford this afternoon 6-0.
Tom Purtell is the assistant coach for the Lady Lions.