Fairfield Lady Lions Advance to the Sweet 16 Pickerington Regional For the Fifth Time in Seven Years
Kaiti White Post 19 Wins-Lauren Arnold Blasts 4th Home Run
It was an absolutely beautiful day for softball as the Fairfield Lady Lions made their sixth appearance in the last seven years in the Southeast District Championship Game at Minford High School before a standing room only crowd. The District Championship game featured not only two of the top teams in the Southeast District, but the two top teams of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference.
The Peebles Lady Indians (21-4, 12-1 SHAC) and the Fairfield Lady Lions (19-1, 13-0 SHAC). Two other Southern Hills Athletic Conference teams were also playing in District Final games today. The Fayetteville Lady Rockets (Division IV, Southwest) and Eastern Brown (Division III, Southeast). But all would see their season come to an end this afternoon except for the Fairfield Lady Lions who defeated the Peebles Lady Indians 10-1 and by doing so won their third consecutive Southeast District Championship and trip to the Sweet Sixteen.
In the storied history of Fairfield Lady Lion’s softball, the current Lady Lions become the first team to win three consecutive District titles. The 1981-1982 teams won back to back district titles.
The Fairfield Lady Lions played an outstanding game this afternoon against a very good Peebles softball team. Kaiti White was brilliant in the circle today, allowing only a single run on 4 hits, walked one, and struck out 8 Lady Indian hitters to earn her 19th victory of the season against only one loss.
The Fairfield Lady Lions defense returned to form today making several great plays in the field including a diving catch of a line drive by shortstop Emily Williams in the fourth inning. But the Fairfield Lady Lions offense highlighted how this could be a real special season, pounding out 14 hits, scoring 10 runs, and mammoth home run in the third inning by Lauren Arnold.
The game started as expected as Madison Pierce and Kaiti White shut out their opponents in the first two innings.
But the Fairfield Lady Lions were able to discuss their at bats with their teammates and make adjustments as they always do, and erupted to score five runs in the top of the third inning all after two outs. Megan Gragg led off the inning with a single to left field. Peebles pitcher Madison Pierce was able to get the next two Lady Lions out. Kaiti White then singled to centerfield advancing Gragg to second base. Molly Thackston entered the game as a courtesy runner for White. Kourtnie Smith singled to right centerfield to drive in Megan Gragg as Thackston raced to third base. Allison Davis entered to run for Kourtnie Smith. Emily Williams doubled to the fence in left centerfield to drive home both Thackston and Davis. Then Lauren Arnold stepped to the plate and blasted a towering home run over the left field fence to make the score 5-0.
The Fairfield Lady Lions added four more runs in the top of the fifth inning. Carli Reiber led off the inning with an infield hit to the left side. Kaiti White doubled to centerfield moving Reiber to third base. Kourtnie Smith was safe on an infield error that scored Reiber as Thackston running for White advance to third base. Emily Williams grounded out to the second baseman driving in Thackston and Davis (running for Smith) moved to third base. Lauren Arnold singled and Lyndee Spargur followed with a single to drive in the final run of the inning.
Peebles would dent the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning on a single by Christian Reed, a stolen base, and a single by Johna Dunigan to make the score 9-1.
The Fairfield Lady Lions scored their final run in the top of the seventh inning. Emily Williams singled to centerfield and Hayleigh Lowe came off the bench as a pinch runner for Williams. Lauren Arnold walked, and Lyndee Spargur followed with a single to load the bases. Shania Setty grounded back to the pitcher Madison Pierce who threw home for the force out, but the catcher’s throw to first base was wide of the base and into right field as Lauren Arnold scored.
Kaiti White would take the mound in the bottom of the seventh inning to seal the victory. Kylie Sims lead off the inning with an infield single, but Kaiti White and the Lady Lions end the threat with three consecutive ground ball outs sending the Lady Lions to the Sweet 16.
Leading hitters for the Lady Lions: Sherry Heckathorn (1 for 4), Carli Reiber (1 for 4, 1 run), Kaiti White (2 for 4, double, 2 runs), Kourtnie Smith (1 for 4, 2 runs, 1 rbi), Emily Williams (2 for 4, double, 1 run, 3 rbi), Lauren Arnold (3 for 3, home run, 3 runs), Lyndee Spargur (3 for 4, 1 rbi), Shania Setty (0 for 4, 2 rbi), Megan Gragg (1 for 4, 1 run).
Kaiti White (19-1) was the winning pitcher for Fairfield. Kaiti’s Pitching line: 7 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 1 earned run, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts. Madison Pierce suffered the loss for Peebles. Pierce’s pitching line: 6 innings, 14 hits, 10 runs, 7 earned runs, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts.
The Fairfield Lady Lions advance to the Pickering Regional Tournament for the fifth time in seven years (2011, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017) and their ninth time in program history (1981, 1982, 1986, 2006). It is first time in program history they have made three consecutive appearances. The Fairfield Lady Lions will play the No. 6 state ranked Portsmouth Clay Lady Panthers (27-1) on Wednesday, May 24th at Pickerington Central High School. Game time is scheduled for 5:00 PM. Portsmouth Clay defeated Paint Valley 2-1 in 10 innings this afternoon. The Pickerington Regional features four of the top ten teams in Division IV: Danville (2), Portsmouth Clay (6), Strasburg Franklin (7), and Fairfield (8). Williamsburg an early season opponent is ranked No. 5.
Ohio High School Softball Coaches Poll 2017 Division IV Poll Week 5
Place High School 1st Place Votes Total Points
1 Gibsonburg 5 77
2 Danville 2 61
3 Rockford Parkway 1 60
4 Jeromesville Hillsdale 0 46
5 Williamsburg 0 43
6 Portsmouth Clay 0 37
7 Strasburg Franklin 0 34
8 Leesburg Fairfield 0 26
9 Old Fort 0 21
10 Pleasant Hill Newton 0 10
Thomas E. Purtell
Fairfield Lady Lions Softball
Wilmington College Lady Quaker Softball