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Fairfield Lady Lions bow out of sectional tournament

The Highland County Press - Staff Photo - Create Article
Fairfield senior Faith Miller is pictured during the Lady Lions' sectional final game against Westfall. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
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The Fairfield Lady Lions had their string of 20 consecutive sectional championships (combined Div. III and IV) end Thursday afternoon at Fairfield High School with a 9-4 loss to the Westfall Lady Mustangs (10-9, 6-4 SVC) in a Div. III Southeast District Sectional Championship game.  

With the victory, Westfall advances to play Southeast District Seed No. 2 Portsmouth West on May 16 at 4 p.m. at Unioto High School in Chillicothe.

The Lady Lions (12-11, 9-4 SHAC) never gave up, but in the end fell short, as Westfall leadoff hitter Delana Landefeld drew a base on balls to lead off the game and advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt off the bat of Ava Heath. 

Olivia Dunn hit a one-hop ground ball back to pitcher Emmi Vance in the circle. Vance froze the runner Landefeld at third base, threw Dunn out to first baseman Carly Sanders, then she threw a strike to catcher Faith Miller who tagged out Landefeld trying to score.

Westfall took the lead in the top of the second inning with a run. Makayla Cook singled in the inning. Westfall added a single run in the third inning and fourth inning taking a 3-0 lead.

Fairfield fought back to score two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Rilee Quickle had a nine-pitch at bat before drawing a base on balls to lead off the inning. Jobey Hattan was safe on a fielder’s choice as Quickle hustled and beat the throw at second base. 

Sydney Sanders and Katelyn Chambliss both had singles to centerfield to drive in Quickle and Hattan, but Sanders and Chambliss were left on base as the inning ended.

Westfall scored four runs in the top of the fifth inning on two Fairfield errors. Chambliss relieved Vance in the circle with one out and runners on first and third base and retire the next two Westfall batters with no further runs scoring.

Westfall added two more runs in the top of the sixth inning to make the score 9-2. Fairfield fought back to score a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Sydney Sanders blasted a lead off home run over the centerfield fence.

Chambliss retired the Lady Mustangs in order in the top of the seventh inning to hold the score at 9-3. 

It looked like Fairfield would get the rally they were looking for in the bottom of the seventh inning, starting with Addison Bales ripping a base hit to centerfield and Sydney Hooper following with another single to centerfield. 

One out later, Hattan doubled to the left field fence to score Bales as Hooper advanced to third base. Westfall’s Dumm struck out the next two Lady Lion hitters to seal Westfall’s victory.

Leading hitters for Fairfield were: Katelyn Chambliss (3-for-3, double, one RBI), Sydney Sanders (2-for-4, home run, one run, two RBI), Sydney Hooper (1-for-4), Rilee Quickle (1-for-3, walk, one run), Jobey Hattan (1-for-4, double, onr run, one RBI) and Addison Bales (1-for-3, one run).

Vance (0-2) suffered the loss for Fairfield as she pitched 4.1 innings, allowing eight hits, seven runs, four earned runs, two walks and one strikeout.

Chambliss’ pitching line included: 2.2 innings, two hits, two runs, two earned runs, one walk and four strikeouts.

Dumm (10-5) was the winning pitcher for Westfall, pitching seven innings, allowing nine hits, four runs, four earned runs, one walk, and 13 strikeouts.

Fairfield seniors included: catcher Faith Miller, left fielder Sydney Sanders and Jaylie Duncan. They lost their freshman year of softball to COVID-19 but have helped the Lady Lions win three consecutive Southern Hills Athletic Conference titles, two sectional championships, and they were district runners-up once.

Miller and Sydney Sanders end their senior season as All-Southern Hills Athletic Conference softball players, along with sophomore Jobey Hattan.