The Fairfield Lady Lions’(21-5) season came to a close on Saturday afternoon after a 12-8 loss to Strasburg-Franklin (24-6) to make then the division IV regional runner-up.
The Lady Lions didn’t go down without a hard fight on Saturday, making a huge comeback in the second inning.
Being the visiting team on the scoreboard, the Lady Lions jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after the first half. But in the bottom of the inning, the Lady Tigers came up to bat and took back the lead and then some with the help of two homeruns and a total of eight hits in the inning. After the first inning, the Fairfield girls found themselves in a hole with the score at 8-2. But the Lady Lions didn’t lay down. They came back up in the second inning and got four hits and drew two walks to bring home six runs and tie the game at eight runs a piece.
Unfortunately for the Fairfield girls, that would be the last run they could put together. Over the next five innings, the Lady Tigers of Strasburg tallied four more runs on 11 hits including another homerun, to take back the lead and the regional championship with a final score of 12-8.
“There ain’t no quick in these girls,” said Fairfield Head Coach Mark Dettwiller after the game. “If you would have told me this morning that we would come out here and score eight runs and get beat, I’d probably shook my head at you. But these kids never quit.
“I want to highlight Grace Larrick, out only senior. She’s been a leader for a couple years and she is just a flat out ball player. She’s going up to Capital to play and we wish her all the best.
“We’re going to take a few days off here and get back to work. We may go up to Akron and watch the games but then we’re going to start playing summer ball and get back it.
“These girls have come a long way this season. About our fourth practice, we were doing a four-corner drill, which is a throwing drill, and there were balls bouncing off everything you could think of in the gym. It was ugly. At the time, we were thinking good lord, we’ll be lucky to break .500 this year. But these girls are sponges. They love the game and study the game and work their tails off. And look where were at. It’s amazing.”
With the season at an end for the Lady Lions, pitcher Kaiti White has become the first 20 win pitcher in Fairfield softball history with 21 on the year.
“That kid is something special,” said Dettwiller on White. “She’s a great ball player. She is the first 20 game winner in Fairfield history. That’s amazing in itself. At Fairfield there has been some outstanding pitching but no one has ever broken 20. She’s set the record there.
“I can’t say enough about the work ethic of these kids and want to thank the whole community of Leesburg for their support. We pretty much had standing room only here today for the game. It’s phenomenal to get this kind of backing so far from the house.”
Leading the Lady Lions at the plate was Carli Reiber with a 3-for-4 effort followed by Larrick, White and Megan Gragg, all who went 2-for-4. Kourtnie Smith also collected one hit. Larrick(2), Reiber(2), White, Emily Williams, Smith, and Heckathorm all scored in the game for the Fairfield girls.
Reach Robert Stegbauer at 937-393-3456 ext. 1679 or on Twitter @RStegbauer.