Trojans fall in marathon 14-inning game
The Fairfield Trojans essentially played two games in one Tuesday night against Burlington.
The Trojans were supposed to play a doubleheader, and in some sense they did as they played 14 innings of softball. Unlike other doubleheaders, these 14 innings were played in a single game, which the Trojans lost 5-4.
Fairfield coach Bob Bradfield said he could not recall the Trojans ever playing a game that long in his 25 years of experience. When the first game dragged into the 12th inning, the coaches met and agreed not to play a second game.
The game was tied 4-4 for nearly all seven of the extra innings played that night until the top of the 14th rolled around. A Burlington batter hit a ball into rightfield, which got past the rightfielder and led to a triple. The next hitter doubled down the leftfield line for the first run for either team since the seventh inning.
Fairfield had a chance to tie and even win the game in the bottom half of the inning as it put runners on first and second with no outs. Unfortunately for Bradfield’s club, the timely hit eluded the Trojans once again as they lost the marathon match.
The Trojans had a few chances to score in extra innings but never cashed them in. In the eighth, Mackenzie Harwood doubled with two outs but was stranded at second. Fairfield got a runner to second with one out in the 10th but once again she was stranded there.
In the 11th inning, the Trojans put runners on first and second with no outs but could not score.
For awhile, it looked like Burlington was in command of the game. After scoring twice in the top of the sixth, the Grayhounds led 4-0. However, Fairfield scored two in the sixth and two in the seventh to tie the game and send it into extras.
In that seventh inning, Harwood led off with a walk. Sydney Burnett followed with a single. Katie Anderson reached on a fielder’s choice, which forced Harwood out at third. Kenady Waugh singled in Burnett, and Marisa Repp delivered the game-tying RBI single, scoring Anderson.
The Trojans’ defense was shaky early, which led to a few unearned runs for the Grayhounds. Two errors in the second led to a run and two more in the sixth led to two runs. Bradfield said the defense settled down after that and played much better.
Alli Deao started and pitched 12 innings before she was relieved by Haley Grunwald.
Deao allowed four runs, one earned, on six hits and no walks with nine strikeouts. Grunwald pitched the final two innings, allowing one earned run on three hits with no walks or strikeouts.
Bradfield said he pulled Deao after 12 innings to ensure she did not injure herself ahead of Thursday’s tournament game. He said it was nice to see the Trojan pitchers did not allow a single walk in 14 innings. Bradfield remarked his pitchers are among the best in the conference at limiting bases on balls.
The Trojans are now 28-11. They play Mount Pleasant at home at 7 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the regional tournament.