The Fairfield Lady Lions Softball program has enjoyed a rich and storied history of excellence. Their resume includes eighteen (20) Southern Hills Athletic Conference Titles (eight in the last eleven years), thirty (32) Sectional Championships (seventeen consecutive), ten (10) district championships (six in the last eight years), one regional trophy, and a state final four appearance in 1982. In 2015, for the first time in school history the Fairfield Lady Lions were voted No. 1 in Division IV in the Final Poll by the Ohio High School Fast Pitch Coaches Association.
The 2018 softball season was another great season for the Lady Lions. The 2018 Fairfield Lady Lions finished with an outstanding 20-7 record with an extremely tough schedule. The Lady Lions would have impressive victories in the tournament over North Adams, Piketon, Alexander, and Chesapeake to win their unprecedented fourth consecutive Southeast District Championship and their first in Division III. No other Fairfield team has won three consecutive district titles in any sport. The Fairfield Lady Lions would fall to the Meadowbrook Lady Colts 3-2 in the Regional Semi-Finals. Fairfield finished the season as Southern Hills Athletic Conference Champions, Sectional Champions, and Southeast District Champions. The Fairfield Lady Lions graduated three seniors in 2018. Carli Reiber, the second baseman, Emily Williams, and Ashley Moore.
A veteran coaching staff returns to lead the Fairfield Lady Lions in 2019, head coach Mark Dettwiller enters his sixth year with a 96-23 record. Mark has been named the Southern Hills Athletic Conference Coach of the Year four times in five years at Fairfield. Longtime assistant head coach Tom Purtell enters his twenty-fifth (25) year as the assistant head coach and begins his 52nd year of coaching. Tom was inducted into the Times-Gazette Highland County Athletic Hall of Fame in 2017. Former Lady Lion player Lesley (Shoemaker) Hattan serves as the Junior Varsity coach and is in her ninth (9th) year. Lesley was the Southern Hills Athletic Conference Volleyball Coach of the Year in her first season as the Fairfield volleyball coach. Former McClain Lady Tiger and Shawnee State University softball player Kayla Overstake Dettwiller begins her fifth year with the Lady Lions coaching staff. Kayla is the JV Girls basketball coach at Miami Trace. The Fairfield Lady Lions say good bye to former Whiteoak Lady Wildcat Cindy Michael after three years as an assistant coach. Cindy is now the head softball coach at Western Latham. The Fairfield Lady Lions thank her for dedication to our program and wish her well in her new position.
The coaching staff has high hopes for the 2019 Fairfield Lady Lions. Twenty-three (23) Lady Lion softball players have worked extremely hard to get ready for the season. They practice to be better every day. They chase perfection in hopes of attaining excellence. The coaches and athletic director have put together the toughest schedule the Fairfield Lady Lions have had to date. The schedule includes 25 varsity games and 16 junior varsity games. The Fairfield Lady Lions will field a very experienced team with seven returning starting players. The Fairfield Lady Lions will seek their fourth consecutive SHAC conference title. Fairfield looks to add to their 17 consecutive Sectional Titles, and seek to become the first Fairfield team to win five consecutive Southeast District titles.
The off season has been a busy time for the Fairfield Lady Lions as two of their seniors signed letters of commitment to play softball at the next level. First baseman Lyndee Spargur signed with Shawnee State University in Portsmouth and Kaitlin White signed with the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky.
The Fairfield Lady Lions look to their seniors for leadership. Four of the five seniors Kati White, Lyndee Spargur, Lauren Arnold, and Megan Gragg have been four year varsity starters and surprised their opponents by stepping into key roles and leading the Fairfield Lady Lions to an undefeated Southern Hills Athletic Conference Championship and a Pickerington Regional Runner-Up trophy as freshman in 2016.
Senior Kaitlin White is a three year varsity starter at pitcher, and bats third. Kaiti was an All SHAC player in 2016, 2017, and 2018, and was the SHAC Player of the Year in 2017. Kaiti was selected to Southeast District Underclassman All Star Team in 2017. Kaiti has been named to Southeast District First Team in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Kaiti was also named to the All Ohio Team in 2017 and 2018. Kaitlin lead the team in batting average (.500), slugging percentage (.648), on base percentage (.602), hits (44), and doubles (10). As a pitcher, Kaiti had 19 wins, pitched 13 shutouts including her first four tournament games, a 1.32 ERA, averaged 11.02 strikeouts per game, and only 0.68 walks per game. Kaiti is one of the top pitchers and hitters in the Southeast District.
Senior Lyndee Spargur is a three year varsity starter at first base and bats leadoff. Lyndee was second on the team in batting average (.452) and lead the team in runs (39) and stolen bases (11). Lyndee had a perfect (1.000) fielding percentage with no errors at first base in 149 chances. Lyndee was named to the All Southern Hills Athletic Conference team in 2017 and 2018, and was Southeast District Honorable Mention in 2017, and Southeast District Second Team in 2018.
Senior Lauren Arnold is a three year varsity starter at catcher and bats fifth in the lineup. Lauren lead the team in home runs and rbi’s (28) in 2018. Lauren is an outstanding defensive catcher with only one (1) error in 2018 allowed only ten (10) stolen bases. Lauren was named to the All Southern Hills Athletic Conference team in 2018, and was Southeast District Honorable Mention in 2018.
Senior Megan Gragg is a three year varsity starter in center field. Megan will bat second (2nd) in the lineup and is also a backup pitcher. Megan finished fourth in batting average (.363) and only had one error in centerfield.
Senior Hayleigh Lowe came off the bench last season as a courtesy runner for Kaiti White and as pinch hitter. Hayleigh looks to compete for a starting outfield spot. At the plate, Hayleigh displays a lot of power in small frame.
Junior Molly Thackston will spend time at third base and second base. Junior Gracie Lawson is the backup pitcher and is a big bat off the bench or in the lineup. Her twin sister Junior Taylor Lawson is the backup catcher and will also swing a big bat for the Lady Lions. Junior Ashley Sanderson is a defensive specialist and a backup third baseman, first baseman, and outfielder. Junior Audrey Oder looks to see time as an outfielder and middle infielder.
Fairfield Lady Lion’s Sophomore class has shown improvement and will contribute to the Lady Lion’s success. Layla Hattan was the starting shortstop and batted cleanup (4th) a year ago. Layla batted .333 as a freshman and was second on the team in RBI’s (25) and doubles (5). Megan Crum will look to compete for a starting spot and adds depth at first and third base. Harley Flint is a pitcher and middle infielder, and will compete for a starting spot. Morgan Sheridan and Allyce McBee continue to improve and add depth to team.
The rookies will definitely push and challenge the veterans for a couple of starting positions. Freshman Autumn Avedisian, Caitlin Campbell, Halle Hamilton, Lynsey Smith, Sadie Knisley, Sara Knisley, Kylie Fauber, and Chloe Butts.
The Fairfield Lady Lions’ goals are simple. Win a Southern Hills Athletic Conference title, a Sectional Championship, and a Southeast District Championship. We expect to be in a position to win every game.
The Fairfield Lady Lions have won six Southeast District Championships in the last eight years (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018).
Winning a fourth consecutive SHAC Championship will definitely be a challenge. In 2018, the SHAC proved their strength as a conference having advanced four teams to the district tournament: Fayetteville, Eastern Brown, Peebles, and Fairfield. Only Fairfield would advance to the regional tournament. In Division I of the SHAC, look for Eastern Brown to finish on top. In Division II, look for Peebles to challenge Fairfield for the top spot.