Emily Williams (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
Emily Williams (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
The Fairfield Lady Lions and Williamsburg Lady Wildcats caught the attention of Division IV softball coaches around the state Saturday afternoon, as both teams entered the non-conference game undefeated.

Williamsburg, who appeared in the State Final Four last season, graduated two starters, and Fairfield, who advanced to the Elite Eight a year ago, graduated just one starter. Fairfield and Williamsburg entered the game standing in first place in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference and the Southern Buckeye Academic and Athletic Conference, respectively. The game was played before a packed house on what turned out to be a beautiful day for softball, and they were not disappointed, with the Lady Wildcats gaining the win by a 5-2 score.

Carly Wagers of Williamsburg and Kaiti White of Fairfield pitched well, as both teams each had eight hits on the day, though the difference in the game was three untimely errors by the Lady Lion defense that led to three unearned runs and the three-run defeat. The Lady Lions also stranded 11 runners on the bases.

The Lady Wildcats added two runs in the top of the third inning to take a 5-0 lead, after scoring three runs in the first inning. Both runs were unearned on a defensive error by the Lady Lions. Kara Bailey, Emma Jeffers and Faith Golden had base hits in the inning for WHS.

Fairfield came back, scoring 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, White and the Lady Lions defense were dominating over the final four innings, allowing no runs on just one hit, giving themselves an opportunity for victory.

The Lady Lions put two runners on the bases in the bottom of the fifth inning and three runners on the bottom of the sixth inning but fell short to score.

FHS rallied in the bottom of the seventh inning, beginning with Reiber singling to centerfield to lead off the inning. White also singled up the middle, advancing Reiber to second base.

Molly Thackston entered the game as a courtesy runner for White. One out later, Emily Williams singled to centerfield to load the bases, but the Lady Lions left the bases loaded as the game ended.

Leading hitters for the Lady Lions included: Heckathorn (2-for-3, HBP, one run), Gragg (2-for-3, one run), Reiber (1-for-4, one RBI), White (1-for-4), Williams (1-for-2) and Lyndee Spargur (1-for-3).

White (4-1) suffered her first loss for Fairfield this season. She pitched seven innings, allowing eight hits, five runs (two earned) with no walks and three strikeouts.

Williamsburg’s Carly Wagers was the winning pitcher in relief of Maddie Neth.

Next for the Lady Lions is a SHAC game at Peebles on Monday, April 17, followed by a home game on Tuesday, April 18 vs. Whiteoak.