Trojan softball evens SEC record
FORT MADISON — The Trojan softball team’s upward trend continued Monday as it pushed its winning streak to four games with a doubleheader sweep of Southeast Conference rival Fort Madison.
The Trojans (7-3) topped the host Bloodhounds 7-4 in the opener and won 2-1 in the nightcap to even their SEC record to 2-2.
The result was the start of what Fairfield head coach Bob Bradfield hopes is a positive week.
“Our goal is to win all four conference games this week, and you can’t do that without winning the first two. Obviously it would really enhance our [conference] chances if we get a sweep of Keokuk, but we just need to focus on continuing to get better. If we do that, good things will come,” Bradfield said.
In game one, Fairfield led Fort Madison 2-0 headed into the final inning, but the Trojans broke out for five runs in the final frame to take the win. With two outs in the inning and no runs plated, eighth-grade shortstop Kenady Waugh lifted a fly ball to left field, and an error by the Bloodhound outfielder opened the floodgates for the five-run inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Trojans committed two errors to ruin Alli Deao’s shutout bid. Fort Madison scored four runs on a pair of Trojan errors.
“We had pretty good defense until that last inning,” said Bradfield.
Deao finished the complete game, allowing only one earned run off five hits. The freshman totaled 11 strikeouts for one of her most dominant performances of the season.
Waugh paced the nine-hit offense with a triple, a double and two runs scored. Mackenzie McClure was 2-for-4 with a double, Marisa Repp knocked in two runs and Sydney Burnett crossed the plate for two runs scored.
The Trojans tallied eight hits in the nightcap but were held to one run until Repp scored on a delayed steal to break a 1-all tie in the sixth inning.
“We couldn’t bunch any hits together, and we need to adjust better to different kinds of pitching. If it takes five or six innings to adjust, that’s too late,” Bradfield said.
The Trojans held on in the bottom of the seventh, but like the first game, just barely.
Fort Madison led off the inning with a single, then an error on Fairfield put runners on second and third with one out. The hard-throwing Deao replaced starter Haley Grunwald at that point, and she punched out the final two batters to preserve Fairfield’s doubleheader sweep.
Grunwald earned the win, pitching 6 1/3 innings and allowing one earned run with a pair of strikeouts. Deao added a save to her seven-inning win from the opening game.
Katie Anderson scored the Trojans’ only other run in the third inning. The senior, who finished 1-for-3 from the plate, walked and later scored on a wild throw to first.
Also for Fairfield, Burnett and Repp both went 2-for-4. Mackenzi Harwood was 2-for-2 and Mackenzie Flattery slapped one hit.
Fairfield plays another important league doubleheader Thursday when it takes on Keokuk (1-5, 1-1 SEC) in Fairfield.
Fairfield @ Fort Madison (Game 1)
Fairfield – 0 0 1 0 0 1 5 — 7 9 5
Fort Madison – 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 — 4 5 4
FAIRFIELD — Burnett 1-4, 2R; Anderson 1-4, R; Waugh 2-4, 2B, 3B, RBI, 2R; Repp 1-4, 2RBI, R; Williams 1-4, RBI; Harwood 1-2; McClure 2-4, 2B
Pitching — Deao (W) 7 INN, 5H, 4ER, ER, 11K, 0BB
Fairfield @ Fort Madison (Game 2)
Fairfield – 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 — 2 8 1
Fort Madison – 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 — 1 7 1
FAIRFIELD — Burnett 2-4; Anderson 1-3, R; Repp 2-4, R; Harwood 2-2; Flattery 1-2
Pitching — Grunwald (W) 6 1/3 INN, 7H, R, ER, 2K, 0BB; Deao (S) 2/3 INN, 2K