The Fairfield Lady Lions softball team (14-4, 10-0), undefeated in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, had a close call on Wednesday night as they hosted the Whiteoak Lady ‘Cats for a SHAC showdown.
In a game that was continued from a night before because of weather, the Lady Lions picked up in their half of the first inning already down 1-0 to their opponents. They evened the score in their half after Kourtnie Smith doubled in Carli Reiber to make it 1-1.
Reiber scored again in the bottom of the fifth for her team to take the 2-1 lead, but Whiteoak rallied in the top of the sixth for two runs, scoring Jaycie Parr and Hayley Nace to take back the lead 3-2.
The Lady Lions came up empty in the bottom of the sixth sending just three batters to the plate that were sat down in order, but they were able to hold the Lady ‘Cats to nothing in the top of the seventh giving themselves a chance to at least tie in the bottom of the final inning.
The Lady Lions were able to get runners on second and third and brought Katelyn White to the plate. White had been intentionally walked in her last at-bat and was again in this one. But on the fourth ball thrown, the ball sailed over the catcher’s head and allowed Lyndee Spargur to score the tying run. Emily Williams came up next and hit a hard ground ball to shortstop, which was fielded by Lexi Jones but she couldn’t make a play at any base and Sherry Heckathorn, who had reached base on an outstanding bunt earlier in the game, was able to come home and score the winning run.
“These girls battled top to bottom tonight,” said Fairfield Head Coach Mark Dettwiller after the win. “There’s no wuit in these girls. We had fantastic defense tonight too.
“[Whiteoak] intentionally walked White twice, which I would have too in that situation, but Emily Williams came up to the plate right after her and was able to deliver twice. Whiteoak’s shortstop made an outstanding catch on that ground ball at the end, diving and laying out and getting it. She just couldn’t do anything with it and we were able to capitalize on it.
“These girls were gnawing to get this game in tonight. We lost that double-header over the weekend and then have to stop this game last night because of weather being down 1-0. But we talk with these girls all the time about mental toughness and that’s what it took tonight. We had to battled back twice in this game and the girls were able to do that and come away with a win.”
The Fairfield girls will be back in action Thursday, April 28 when they travel to Manchester for another SHAC contest. That game is set to start at 5 p.m.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.