The two top teams in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference squared off Monday when the Fairfield Lady Lions traveled to face the Peebles Lady Indians. It was Fairfield who flexed their muscle as the top team in the conference, in dominating fashion, winning by an 8-0 score.
Peebles (6-2, 4-1 SHAC) entered the game undefeated in conference play and in first place in Division I, while the Lady Lions (5-1, 4-0 SHAC) were also undefeated in conference play and in first place in Division II. The Lady Lions were in control all game as Kaiti White threw her fourth shutout of the season, and the Lady Lion offense collected 15 hits en route to the victory.
The Lady Lions were led by seniors Sherry Heckathorn and Kourtnie Smith at the plate, who each had three hits. Heckathorn was 3-for-5 with a double and three runs. Smith went 3-for-5 with one run and two RBIs.
FHS scored three runs in the top of the first inning as Heckathorn led off the game with a line drive double to left-centerfield. Two outs later, Smith laced an RBI single to centerfield, driving home Heckathorn. Emily Williams followed with a single. Both Smith and Williams scored on a line drive to right field off the bat of Lauren Arnold, who reached on an error.
The Lady Lions took a five-run lead with two more runs in the fourth inning. With one out, Megan Gragg was safe on a bunt single, and Heckathorn followed with a bunt single. With two outs, White singled to score Gragg. Smith singled to centerfield, driving in Heckathorn.
Singles by Lyndee Spargur and Gragg led to another run in the top of the fifth inning.
Peebles threatened to score in the bottom of the fifth inning. That began with one out as the Lady Lions uncharacteristically committed back-to-back errors to put Andrea Moore on second and Madison Pierce on first.
Kyle Sims singled to centerfield with two outs, but Heckathorn in centerfield charged the ball and made a strong throw to Lady Lion catcher Smith, who applied the tag on Moore to end the inning.
The Lady Lions added two more runs in the seventh inning, starting with Shania Setty drawing a walk and followed by Gragg having a sacrifice bunt to advance Setty to second. Heckathorn singled, advancing Setty to third base. Both runners scored on a double to centerfield by Carli Reiber.
White shut the door in the sixth and seventh innings, retiring the final six Peebles batters.
Other leading hitters for the Lady Lions: Gragg (2-for-3, one run, one RBI), Reiber (2-for-5, double, two RBIs), Williams (2-for-3, one run), Spargur (2-for-4, one run) and White (1-for-5, one RBI).
White (5-1) was the winning pitcher for Fairfield, pitching all seven innings, She allowed no runs on three hits and two walks. White tallied nine strikeouts in the win.
Next for the Lady Lions is a home game on Tuesday, April 18 vs. Whiteoak at 5 p.m. in SHAC play.