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Lady Lions win sectional championship

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Fairfield senior pitcher Katelyn Chambliss allowed no runs in the Lady Lions' sectional final win. (HCP Photos/Stephen Forsha)
Stephen Forsha, The Highland County Press

LEESBURG — The Fairfield Lady Lions hosted the Westfall Lady Mustangs Thursday (May 9) in a Division III sectional final game at Fairfield High School for the second consecutive year.  

After losing in the sectional final a season ago, Fairfield avenged the loss with an 8-0 shutout victory, as the win gave the Lady Lions program their 36th overall sectional championship. 

The Lady Lions’ win improved them to 18-7 overall, as they are also 11-2 in the SHAC Division II standings, awaiting outcomes to games to see where they will stand in the final SHAC standings. 

Fairfield assistant coach Tom Purtell said the Lady Lions “may have played their best game of the season” following the win, as Fairfield’s offense had 11 hits and put pressure on the Westfall defense with their aggressive base running.  

FHS also played errorless softball that featured several defensive gems and received another near-perfect pitching performance from senior pitcher Katelyn Chambliss.  

One day after pitching a combined perfect game with fellow senior pitcher Caitlyn Quickle, Chambliss pitched a three-hit shutout, as she extended her scoreless innings streak to 14 consecutive innings in the circle. 
Chambliss struck out three Westfall batters in the top of the first inning, and the offense of FHS followed in the bottom of the first inning with Jobey Hattan reaching first base on a dropped third strike with one out and stole second base. Caitlyn Quickle flied out to deep right field and Hattan tagged up and advanced to third base, but Hattan was eventually left stranded on third base. 

The Lady Lions took the early lead with three runs in the bottom of the second inning, starting with Carly Sanders leading off the inning with a single to centerfield. One out later, Addison Bales laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing Sanders to second base.  

Sydney Hooper singled to centerfield driving in Carly Sanders and advanced to second base on the throw to the plate. Ally Maynard followed with a double to left-centerfield, scoring Hooper and Rilee Quickle doubled to left-centerfield, driving in Maynard.

Fairfield added to their lead with two more runs in the bottom of the third inning as Caitlyn Quickle, Emmi Vance, Carly Sanders and Katelyn Chambliss had four consecutive singles.

The Lady Lions completed their scoring with three more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning.  

Rilee Quickle singled through the left side of the infield to lead off the inning. Hattan laid down a bunt single that advanced Rilee Quickle to third base and then she stole second base. Caitlyn Quickle hit a sacrifice fly to the fence in left-centerfield, scoring Rilee Quickle.  

Vance also hit a deep fly ball to the left-centerfield fence and Hattan tagged up to advance to third base. Carly Sanders doubled to score Hattan and later scored when Chambliss was safe on an error.

Chambliss and the Lady Lions defense retired the Westfall batters in order in the sixth and seventh innings to seal the victory.

Leading hitters for the Lady Lions: Rilee Quickle (2-for-4, double, one run, one RBI), Hattan (1-for-4, one run), Caitlyn Quickle (1-for-3, one run, one RBI), Vance (1-for-3, one run), Sanders (3-for-4, double, two runs, one RBI), Chambliss (1-for-3, two RBI), Bales (sac bunt), Hooper (1- for-2, one run, one RBI) and Maynard (1-for-2, double, one run, one RBI).             

Chambliss (4-2) picked up the win for Fairfield as she pitched seven innings, allowing no runs on three hits and no walks with five strikeouts. 

Fairfield advanced to the Southeast 1 Division III District Tournament and was scheduled to play the Northwest Lady Mohawks, who defeated the North Adams Lady Devils 10-0 on Thursday, at Ohio University Monday, May 13 at 5:30 p.m.

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