The Fairfield Lady Lions’ season to remember came to a heartbreaking end Saturday afternoon before a truly impressive showing of Fairfield Lady Lion fans at the Lancaster Division III Regional Finals. For the eleventh time in program history and the fifth consecutive year, the Fairfield Lady Lions (24-2, 13-0 SHAC) advanced to play in a Regional Tournament. This time it was a rematch from a year ago when Meadowbrook survived Fairfield to win 3-2 in the Regional Semi-Finals.
The Fairfield Lady Lions tournament run has featured thrilling come from victories over Wellston, Wheelersburg, and Ironton. Saturday’s game was also classic softball game. The Fairfield Lady Lions would take a 5-3 into the bottom of the seventh inning. But Meadowbrook third baseman Rylee Combs tied the game with a two run home run over the centerfield fence sending the game into extra innings. Both teams failed to score in the eighth inning. Meadowbrook pitcher Alyssa Malott hit the first pitch she saw over the centerfield fence with Sydney Farley on first base in the bottom of the ninth inning for the walk off win.
Fairfield’s pitching ace Kaiti White was brilliant in tournament play and threw victories in the first four tournament games. She pitched well enough again Saturday to win, but it was not in the cards. Kaiti White struck out fifteen (15) batters. The Fairfield Lady Lions scored five runs on seven hits, but it was not enough to win this afternoon.
Leading hitters for the Lady Lions: Lyndee Spargur (0 for 5), Megan Gragg (0 for 5, 1 run), Kaiti White (0 for 3, 2 walks, 2 runs), Layla Hattan (2 for 5, 1 run, 1 rbi), Lauren Arnold ( 2 for 3, 2 hit by pitch, 1 rbi), Ashley Sanderson (0 for 4, 1 rbi), Taylor Lawson (1 for 1), Hayleigh Lowe (1 for 3, 1 rbi), Molly Thackston (1 for 4), and Halle Hamilton (0 for 3).
Kaiti White (24-2) suffered the loss for the Lady Lions. Kaiti’s pitching line: 8.3 innings, 7 runs, 7 earned run, 2 walks, and 15 strikeouts). Alyssa Marlatt (15-4) was the winning pitcher for Meadowbrook. Marlatt’s pitching line: 9 innings, 7 hits, 5 runs, 2 earned runs, 4 walks, and 9 strikeouts.
Several post season honors will be announced this week at the SHAC Awards ceremony and the Fairfield Spring Sports Award ceremony. Kaiti White, Lauren Arnold, Lyndee Spargur, and Layla Hattan are named to the All Southern Hills Athletic Conference team. Kaiti White was named The SHAC Player of the Year for the second time. Coach Mark Dettwiller was named the SHAC Coach for the fifth time in six years. The Southeast District Coaches will announce their selection to the All Southeast District team this weekend. Kaiti White and Lauren Arnold were selected to the first team, Lyndee Spargur was selected to the second team, and Megan Gragg was named Honorable Mention. Kaiti White was named the Southeast District Player of the Year and was named All Ohio First Team. Kaiti White has been selected as an All Ohio player for three consecutive years.
The Fairfield Lady Lions say good bye to five very special young ladies: Seniors Kaiti White, Lauren Arnold, Lyndee Spargur, Megan Gragg, and Hayleigh Lowe. They will be hard to replace. The quintet have won four consecutive District Championships and received three Regional Runner up trophies. The have won four consecutive Southern Hills Athletic Conference titles and three Gold Glove trophies signifying an undefeated SHAC season. They provided leadership to the team and helped to raise the bar for Fairfield Lady Lion’s softball. Kaiti White leaves the program with virtually every career and single season pitching record for the Fairfield Lady Lions.
“We often discuss with our softball teams each season what it means to be a part of a program of excellence. It not only means working hard every day to make yourself and your team better. But it means leaving your mark on the Lady Lions softball program after you leave. The five seniors have done exactly that,” said Lady Lions Assistant Coach Tom Purtell.
“The Lady Lion’s players and coaches have been an absolute joy to work with and all have worked hard every day to make themselves and their teammates better,” said Purtell. “I have looked forward to coming to practice every day. The future is bright for Fairfield Lady Lion’s softball.”
Fairfield Lady Lions Assistant Coach Tom Purtell submitted this story.