Fairfield's Emmi Vance swings the bat as she knocks in two base runners against the Manchester Lady Greyhounds, Monday at Fairfield High School. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
Fairfield's Emmi Vance swings the bat as she knocks in two base runners against the Manchester Lady Greyhounds, Monday at Fairfield High School. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
LEESBURG — Defense was the name of the game for the Fairfield Lady Lions on Monday evening, as they used their stellar play to lead to victory against the visiting Manchester Lady Greyhounds by a 2-0 score.

The shutout win saw the Division IV 10th-place state-ranked Fairfield Lady Lions make excellent plays on defense at numerous times throughout the contest. They also scored two runs in the bottom of the third inning, which proved to be enough to earn the win.

“Absolutely,” Fairfield head coach Mark Dettwiller said when asked if defense was the key on Monday. “The girls showed up and did an absolute stellar job. Faith Miller had a backhand stop and made a great throw. Emmi Vance made a big stop at first, and Jaylie Duncan doubled up them at first on a throw. That is what it takes.

“Both teams were struggling at the plate when we capitalized when we needed to.”

Fairfield (5-0, 8-4) began their half of the third with a single by Halle Hamilton from the leadoff spot. Next was a base hit by Caitlin Campbell, followed by two consecutive outs via the infield fly rule. Then came the two-out hit the Lady Lions needed, as Emmi Vance sent the ball to left field to score both runners (including Campbell avoiding the tag in a plate at the plate), putting Fairfield up 2-0.

The Lady Lions’ defense held up strong as they had a double play in the third inning when the right fielder Jaylie Duncan caught the first out, then threw the ball to first base to complete the double play.

In the top of the seventh, the Lady Lions’ defense was back at it as Vance made a big catch on a line drive for the first out of the inning, and Faith Miller made a backhand stop at third base to throw the runner out at first for the second out of the game. The final out was recorded when Hamilton made the stop at second base and tossed the ball to first to end the game.

At the plate, the Lady Lions collected six hits with Hamilton finishing 2-for-3 with one run, Campbell ending the day at 1-for-3 with a run, Caitlyn Quickle at 2-for-3 and Vance at 1-for-3 with two RBI. Miller was hit by a pitch, while Duncan drew two walkd and Katelyn Chambliss had a sacrifice.

“For some reason on Saturday, we just couldn’t put things together, but it was sure good to see and play Lady Lions softball,” Dettwiller said. “Hitting the ball, Halle led the team and did a nice job. She’s a junior and a fantastic leader and has been a tough out all year long. Layla Hattan has been hitting the ball really well lately as well.”

Chambliss was also the winning pitcher, as she ended the day with a complete seven-inning game for the Lady Lions. She allowed no runs on four hits and no walks. Chambliss finished with four strikeouts.

Fairfield is scheduled to play again on Tuesday, April 20, as they will be on the road at Eastern High School to face the Lady Warriors in SHAC action at 5 p.m.