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Fairfield advances to district finals; defeats Northwest with 7th-inning rally

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Fairfield senior Emmi Vance, pictured in the Lady Lions' sectional final game, hit a sacrifice fly to give FHS the lead in the seventh inning against Northwest. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
Stephen Forsha, The Highland County Press

Having bookend two-run innings, mixed in with a one-run inning in their Division III SE District Semifinal game on Monday at Ohio University, the Fairfield Lady Lions defeated the Northwest Lady Mohawks by a 5-3 score to move onto the district finals. 

Fairfield (19-7) led 2-0 after the top of the first inning, but trailed by a 3-2 score after the bottom of the third inning was complete. FHS tied the score with a run in the top of the fifth and won the game with two runs in the top of the seventh to complete the scoring for the game. 

FHS began the game with a walk by Rilee Quickle, followed by a one-out double by Caitlyn Quickle hit to left field to score Rilee Quickle for the 1-0 lead. Whitlee Morrow entered the game as a pinch runner at second base for Caitlyn Quickle, and Morrow scored off a triple on a 0-2 count off the bat of Emmi Vance for the 2-0 lead. 

Northwest (16-9) scored three runs in the bottom of the third, beginning with Abby Throckman being hit by a pitch with one out, and she moved to second base on a passed ball. Next was a double by Alayna Bazler to knock in Throckman, cutting Fairfield’s lead in half at 2-1. 

With two outs, Lauren Redoutey smashed a two-run home run over the centerfield fence for a 3-2 Northwest lead. 

Fairfield tied the score at 3-3 with a two-out single by Katelyn Chambliss to centerfield, scoring Jobey Hattan, who led off the inning with a single, then moved to second base on a Caitlyn Quickle single. 

Then came the seventh-inning rally for Fairfield, who began the top of the inning with a single on a ground ball to left field by Hattan, as she landed on second base on an error. Caitlyn Quickle in the ensuing at-bat forced a six-pitch full-count walk. With Morrow in as a pinch runner for Quickle, Hattan went to third on a wild pitch, and Morrow took second on the same error. 

Next was a sacrifice fly to right field by Emmi Vance, scoring Hattan from third for the 4-3 lead, and she also moved Morrow to third base. That was followed by a one-out single by Carly Sanders on a 2-1 count to score Morrow from third base for the final 5-3 score. 

In the circle, Caitlyn Quickle ended the game in the bottom of the seventh with two swinging strikeouts and a pop up to second base to end the game and put FHS back in the district finals. 

The Lady Lions finished with seven hits and one error, while Northwest totaled four hits and four errors. 

Four of the seven hits came off the bats of Hattan and Caitlyn Quickle. Hattan finished 2-for-4 with two runs, while Quickle was 2-for-3 with one RBI and one walk. 

Vance was 1-for-4 with two RBI, Sanders went 1-for-3 with an RBI and a walk and Chambliss finished the game 1-for-4 with one RBI. 

The Lady Lions also had a run and a walk from Rilee Quickle, and teammates Ally Maynard and Sydney Hooper each forced a walk. 

Caitlyn Quickle finished the game with the win in the circle, pitching seven innings, allowing three earned runs on four hits and no walks, with 12 strikeouts. Quickle totaled 85 pitches, 62 for strikes. 

Next for Fairfield is a district final game on Thursday, May 16 against Wheelersburg (19-2) — the reigning back-to-back Division III state champions — at Ohio University at 5 p.m. Wheelersburg defeated Huntington, 17-0 in five innings on Monday in their district semifinal game. 

        200 010 2 — 5 7 1
NWHS    003 000 0 — 3 4 4 

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