The Fairfield Lady Lions (9-4, 6-2 SHAC) dropped a 4-3 decision this afternoon to the Fayetteville Lady Rockets in a classic softball game played this afternoon at Fayetteville High School. The game featured two of the top pitchers in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference in Paige Vilvens of Fayetteville and Kaiti White of Fairfield. Both pitchers pitched well in the back and forth contest, but in the end 3 errors by the Fairfield Lady Lions that led to 2 unearned runs would be the difference in the game.
The game saw Fayetteville score a single run in the bottom of the first inning to take an early 1-0 lead. Both pitchers would then blank their opponents through the second, third, and fourth inning. Fairfield would tie the score 1-1 with a run in the top of the fifth inning. Taylor Lawson led off the inning with a base hit up the middle. Allissa Hester came off the bench as a pinch runner for Lawson. Megan Gragg laid down the perfect sacrifice bunt to move Hester to second base. Hester would advance to third base on a dropped third strike to Madi Fox. Lyndee Spargur drove Hester home with a double to right field.
Fayetteville would retake the lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning on a single by Paige Vilvens and double by Rachel Laney.
Fairfield would tie the score 2-2 with a run in the top of the sixth inning. Kaiti White led off the inning with a double to the fence in right centerfield. One out later Molly Thackston would double to the same spot to drive home Hayleigh Lowe running for White.
Again Fayetteville would score a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 3-2 lead. Gabby Jones and Taryn Smucker would reach base on consecutive errors by the Lady Lions defense putting Jones on third base and Smucker on first base. The Lady Lions infield pulled in attempting to keep the go ahead run from scoring. But Zoe Vilvens hit a ground ball up the middle that shortstop Molly Thackston made a nice play, but her only play was the force out at second base permitting Jones to cross the plate and give her team a 3-2 lead.
Things looked bleak for the Lady Lions in the top of the seventh inning as Paige Vilvens retired the first two batters. But Lyndee Spargur who continues to swing a hot bat beat out an infield single to put the tying run on base. Grace Lawson entered the game to pinch hit for Carli Reiber and singled up the middle. Hayleigh Lowe entered the game as a pinch runner for Grace Lawson. Fayetteville then intentionally walked Kaiti White to load the bases. Layla Hattan then reached first base on a dropped third strike as Spargur scored to tie the game 3-3.
It looked like the Fairfield Lady Lions would send the game into extra innings as Kaiti White retired the first two batters in order. But Taylor Mechlin would double and Gabby Jones would end the game on a single to right field.
Leading hitters for the Lady Lions: Lyndee Spargur (3 for 4, double, 1 run, 1 rbi), Carli Reiber (1 for 3), Kaiti White (1 for 3, double, 1 run), Layla Hattan (1 for 4, 1 rbi), Molly Thackston (1 for 4, double, 1 rbi), Lauren Arnold (1 for 2, sac bunt), Taylor Lawson (1 for 3).
Kaiti White (8-3) suffered the loss for Fairfield but deserved a better fate. Kaiti’s Pitching line: 6 2/3 innings, 9 hits, 4 runs, 2 earned run, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts. Paige Vilvens picked up the win for Fayetteville. Vilvens’ pitching line: 7 innings, 9 hits, 3 runs, 3 earned runs, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts.
Tom Purtell is the Assistant Coach of the Fairfield Lady Lions softball team.