Fairfield honored their spring sports senior athletes and those of the visiting Whiteoak Wildcats baseball and softball teams on Thursday on the varsity softball diamond at Fairfield High School. The seniors from Whiteoak each received a flower adorned with black and orange ribbons and the Fairfield seniors received flowers and various gifts and plaques for their contribution to their programs.
The boys were the first to get underway following the ceremonies and Lions starting pitcher Matthew Spears looked like he would tame the Wildcats on senior night as he fanned three batters in a row following a lead off walk to Traeton Hamilton.
The Lions got off to a promising start offensively when Austin Setty beat out a single but, he was caught stealing during the next at bat. Cody Gragg recorded a single of his own and advanced to third base before being stranded on a fly out to end the inning.
Whiteoak’s Chase Carraher doubled to start the second inning and later scored on sacrifice fly by Chase Butler to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.
Evan Brill took control of the game for Whiteoak in the bottom of the second as he retired the three batters he faced to start a stretch that saw him allow only one base runner over the course of the second, third and fourth innings.
Trever Yeager and Caleb West both scored in the third to extend the Wildcat’s lead to 3-0 and Hamilton scored in the fourth to further extend the Whiteoak lead to 4-0.
The Lions mounted a rally in the fifth inning after Brill struck out the first two batters. Ethan Grooms reached first on an error and Setty was walked to put two men on and Gragg plated both to put the lions back in the thick of things at 4-2.
After being held scoreless in the fifth inning the Wildcats plated one run in the sixth and one run in the seventh to account for their final two runs.
Brill regained his composure in the sixth inning as he retired all three batters he faced. In the seventh Brill walked the first batter and struck out the second before walking the third prompting Wildcats head coach Chris Veidt to call Yeager in from the outfield for the save.
Yeager forced the next batter into a fielder’s choice that put out Tanner Collins at second base and got Sam Buddelmeyer to fly out to short to end the game and push the Wildcats to 15-0 on the season.
On the softball diamond the Lady Lions, coming off a loss Wednesday against the defending state champions from Williamsburg, took care of business in an 12-0 five inning game.
Kaiti White, the starting pitcher for the Lady Lions, was her typical dominant self pitching a complete five inning game and allowing no runs. White struck out ten batters in the game while only allowing three hits and one walk.
Megan Botts had two hits for the Lady Wildcats and Cylee Bratton had the other while Katie Ames drew the lone walk allowed by White in the game.
The Lady Lions powered out 13 hits on the night and socred 12 runs, 11 earned, to make quick work of Whiteoak on senior night.
Fairfield achieved the win with a balanced offensive effort as Lyndee Spargur, Carli Reiber, White, Molly Thackston,Megan Gragg and Madison Fox each recorded two hits on the night.
Every Lady Lions except Lauren Arnold scored at least one run in the game.
Alex Greene took the loss for the Lady Cats as she allowed five earned runs in four innings of work and walked two batters.
The Lady Wildcat defense did not make it easy for her as they committed five errors on the night that allowed the Lady Lions to stay alive in tight situations.
Reach Ryan Applegate at 937-402-2572, or on Twitter @RCApplegate89.