The Fairfield Baseball/Softball Complex in Leesburg, Ohio drew the statewide attention of Division IV softball coaches around the State of Ohio, as Fairfield Lady Lions (4-1, 3-0 SHAC) hosted the Williamsburg Lady Wildcats (14-0, 5-0 SBAAC) on Saturday afternoon.
Williamsburg, who appeared in the State Final Four just a year ago, graduated two starters - and Fairfield, who advanced to the Elite 8 a year ago, graduated just one starter. Both teams entered the game undefeated and standing in first place in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference and the Southern Buckeye Academic and Athletic Conference.
The game was played before a packed house on what turned out to be a beautiful day for softball and they were not disappointed.
Carly Wagers of Williamsburg and Kaiti White of Fairfield pitch well and both teams had eight hits on the day. But the difference in the game was three untimely errors by the Lady Lion defense that led to 3 unearned runs and a 5-2 defeat. The Lady Lions would also leave 11 runners on base.
The Lady Wildcats would add two more runs in the top of the third inning to take a 5-0 lead. Both runs were unearned on a defensive error by the Lady Lions. Bailey, Jeffers, and Golden would all have base hits in the inning.
But the Lady Lions would score two runs in the bottom of the third inning to make the score 5-2. Megan Gragg led off the inning with a single up the middle and Sherry Heckathorn followed with an infield single. Carli Reiber was safe on an error as Gragg scored and Heckathorn advanced to third base. Heckathorn then scored on a wild pitch.
After giving up five runs on seven hits in the first three innings, Kaiti White and the Lady Lion’s defense was dominating over the final four innings allowing no runs on just one hit giving themselves an opportunity for victory.
The Lady Lions would put two runners on in the bottom of the fifth inning and three runners on the bottom of the sixth inning, but would fail to score.
The Lady Lions refused to quit and would rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. Carli Reiber would single to centerfield to lead off the inning. Kaiti White also singled up the middle advancing Reiber to second base. Molly Thackston would enter the game as a courtesy runner for White. One out later, Emily Williams single to centerfield to load the bases. But the Lady Lions would leave the bases loaded as the game ended.
Leading hitters for the Lady Lions: Sherry Heckathorn (2 for 3, hbp, 1 run), Megan Gragg (2 for 3, 1 run), Carli Reiber (1 for 4, 1 rbi), Kaiti White (1 for 4), Emily Williams (1 for 2), and Lyndee Spargur (1 for 3).
Kaiti White (4-1) suffered her first loss for Fairfield. Kaiti’s Pitching line: 7 innings, 8 hits, 5 runs, 2 earned runs, no walks, and 3 strikeouts. Carly Wagers was the winning pitcher for Williamsburg in relief of Maddie Neth. Maddie Neth’s pitching line: 2 innings, 4 hits, 2 runs, 2 earned runs,1 walks, and no strikeouts. Wagers’ pitching line: 5 innings, 4 hits, no runs, no earned runs, 3 walks, and 11 strikeouts.
Here is next week’s schedule:
04-17-17 Monday at Peebles * 5:00
04-18-17 Tuesday vs Whiteoak * 5:00 Home
04-19-17 Wednesday Off Day
04-20-17 Thursday at Fayetteville * 5:00
04-21-17 Friday at North Adams * 5:00
04-22-17 Saturday at Greenfield McClain 11:00 AM (Mitchell Park)
- Thomas E. Purtell, Fairfield Lady Lions Softball