The Fairfield Lady Lions traveled to Minford High School on Thursday to take on the Southern Tornadoes in a Southeastern district D III softball tournament match-up. The Lady Lions emerged victorious with a hard fought 12-8 victory.
The Tornadoes jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to clutch hitting from the first four batters in the line-up.
The Lady Lions scored two runs in the bottom of the first, Kaiti White reached base and later scored on a passed ball and Emily Williams reached base on a single and scored on a single by Lauren Arnold.
Southern was held in check in the top of the second with White only needing to face four batters to get out of the inning.
Fairfield went down in order in the bottom of the second inning to keep the score at 3-2 in favor of Southern.
The top of the third inning was more of the same for both teams with the Lady Lions making all the right plays in the field and the Tornadoes unable to come up with a clutch hit.
In the bottom of the third inning the Lady Lions were able to get the bats going scoring eight runs in the inning to put some space between them and the Tornadoes. Fairfield got the inning started with a lead-off triple by Carli Reiber, White followed up with a single scoring Reiber. Kourtnie Smith laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt to advance courtesy runner Molly Thackston to second base. Williams and Arnold singled to load the bases for the Lady Lions. Lyndee Spargur got into the act in the next at bat with a monster bases clearing triple, the second of the inning for Fairfield. Shania Setty singled scoring Spargur and Megan Gragg hit the third triple of the inning to score Setty. Sherri Heckathorn drew a walk and Reiber singled to load the bases again. White launched a double to right center for two more runs to give the Lady Lions an 11-3 lead after three innings.
Both teams went down one, two, three in a quick fourth inning. The top of the fifth inning saw the tornadoes put up one run to bring the score to 11-4.
Fairfield would add another run in the bottom of the fifth inning courtesy of another RBI double by White that scored Gragg.
The top of the sixth inning saw the Tornadoes put a scare into the Lady Lions by putting up four runs in the inning to bring the score to 12-8. The Lady Lions were unable to respond in the bottom of the inning giving the Tornadoes hope heading into the top of the seventh.
However it was not meant to be for the Tornadoes as White faced only three batter striking out the final two to secure the win.
The Lady Lions advance to the district final game Saturday at Minford High School at 1pm. The Lady Lions will face Southern Hills Athletic Conference rivals the Peebles Indians.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.