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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 15, 2018

Fairfield hosts Van Buren, Pekin and more

By Justin Webster | Jun 11, 2018
Photo by: JUSTIN WEBSTER/Ledger photo Fairfield sophomore catcher Grace Stever looks back at the dugout after the Chargers No. 11 Macy Johnston scored the second run for Chariton in a 8-2 Trojan victory Friday.

Three-quarters of the softball teams in the Ledger’s coverage area converged in Jefferson County Friday and Saturday for the annual Fairfield Invitational.

The Trojans defeated Chariton 8-2 Friday before losing 10-1 to Iowa City Liberty Saturday in the semifinals and then 2-1 to Clear Creek-Amana in the third-place game later in the day.

All three runs came in the eighth frame under international rules that included starting a runner on second base at the beginning of each half-inning.

Van Buren went 2-1, losing by just a run to the much larger Lightning in the championship game while improving to 3-8 over the weekend after an 0-7 start.

Pekin lost to Liberty 4-1 in the first round Friday before rebounding for a 7-3 win against Chariton Saturday morning to advance to the fifth-place game where they fell to Wilton 4-3.

 

Van Buren

After starting the season 0-7 both overall and in the Southeast Iowa Super Conference, the Warriors won their opening game of the Trojan Invitational against Wilton 6-2 before heading back to Keosauqua where they defeated Lone Tree 6-0 for their first SEISC victory. Van Buren then beat Clear Creek-Amana 5-2 in the semifinals Saturday morning for their third consecutive win before falling 4-3 against their largest opponent of the season in Iowa City Liberty.

 

Quarterfinals

Versus Wilton, sophomore Salena Sayre led the team in hits and RBI with three each while scoring two runs for the Warriors. Fellow Class of 2020 graduate Isabel Manning and freshman Chelsey Huff also had multiple hits for Van Buren, with the ninth-grader crossing home twice and collecting an RBI while Manning and senior Hannah Heiserman each scored one of the remaining runs. The Warriors scored three in the fourth as the road team to start the scoring and after allowing two scores in the fifth, they responded with one run in the sixth and two more in the seventh for the 6-2 decision.

Huff went the distance on the mound, allowing two runs on 10 hits while striking out two and walking one.

 

Semifinals

Two runs in the top of the first gave the Warriors an early lead over the Clippers who coulden’t score until the bottom of the sixth when their futile attempt was in vain as Van Buren had recorded the deciding run in the top of the sixth before adding two more scores in the seventh for the 5-2 final that sent the small school from the south to the championship game against Iowa City Liberty who competes in Class 3A in most sports.

Huff collected another victory after allowing two runs once again, this time on five hits while striking out nine and walking one.

 

Championship

After falling behind 3-0 in the bottom of the third, the Warriors responded with three runs in their next at-bat when Ella Jirak, Annalyssa Noll and Lindsey Starnes all crossed the plate to tie the game.

The Lightning won the game when they scored an unearned run in the sixth before holding the Warriors in the top of the seventh for the 4-3 win and the champions title of the Fairfield Invitational.

After defeating Lone Tree on Friday afternoon, junior Shayna Sprinkle took the loss after allowing four runs on six hits over six innings while striking out three and walking zero batters.

The Warriors are now 3-8 and will travel to 9-6 West Burlington Tuesday with the Nikes having won six SEISC games in a row.

 

Pekin

Quarterfinals

At 7-6 entering the invitational, the Panthers were paired against Iowa City Liberty in the first round, falling 4-1 in the Friday evening contest.

Pekin scored in the top of the first when junior Zoey Wright drew a walk to leadoff the game and then crossed the plate on an Emilee Linder RBI single after stealing second base.

Unfortunately, the Lightning tied it in their first at-bat and then tallied the three decisive runs in the home half of the third.

Junior Ellie Ledger was the only other Panther to reach base with one single in her three plate appearances.

Sophomore Kylie Davis allowed four runs on seven hits over 2 2/3 innings while striking out two and walking one.

Classmate Cari Duwa went 3 1/3 in relief, allowing no runs on one hit while striking out two.

 

Saturday

Chariton scored a run in each of the second, third and fourth innings in the semifinals of the losers bracket Saturday morning, fortunately, the Panthers scored four of their own in the fourth and added three more in the sixth for the 7-3 victory.

Sophomore Remi Duwa went 3-3 including a triple, while scoring a run and knocking in two RBI to lead Pekin. Linder, Ledger and Davis along with seniors Kennedy Coleman and Makenna Myers each had one hit for the Panthers who totaled eight.

Sophomore Cari Duwa went the distance, throwing 94 pitches over seven innings while allowing three runs, two of which were earned, on three hits while striking out six and walking one during the win.

 

Fifth-place

With a chance to end the weekend with a win, Pekin fell behind 3-0 after allowing two runs in the first and another in the second before the fourth and decisive run was recorded in the home half of the fifth. A half-inning later, the Panthers made a three-run comeback attempt that fell short in the 4-3 loss.

Wright and Myers each had two hits with Zoey also scoring a run and Makenna also recording an RBI. Linder, Ledger, Coleman and Remi Duwa each had one hit as well, with sophomores Faith Goudy and Kylie Davis throwing 60 pitches combined over six innings in the defeat.

Goudy took the L after allowing four runs, only one of which was earned, on six hits while striking out one before Kylie Davis came in for an inning of relief. Davis allowed no runs and no hits, throwing just nine pitches.

 

Fairfield

After splitting a road doubleheader with Keokuk Thursday night in SEC play, the Trojans returned home for their invitational with all four games played at the middle school Friday before the losers bracket shifted to O.B. Nelson Park Saturday morning.

Fairfield more than batted through their order en route to scoring eight runs in the first inning of the quarterfinals versus Chariton. Although the Chargers were stunned into submission, the Trojans failed to score during the remainder of the game and held on for an 8-2 victory by Allison Rebling who went the distance while allowing two runs on three hits and striking out 14 and walking four.

Offensively, sophomores Shay Drish and Lily Hoskins each had three hits in their four at-bats to lead Fairfield. Both also crossed the plate once each, with Ashtyn Drish, Ellie Baker, Taylor Myers, Carly Ferrel, Danielle Breen and Brynley Allison also recording runs during the big opening inning.

 

Semifinals

After Fairfield held a 1-0 lead for the first three-plus innings, Liberty unleased seven runs in the fourth, one more in the sixth and two in the seventh to turn the duel into a 10-1 blowout.

The Drish sisters each had a hit with Ashtyn driving in Shay in the home half of the first for the early lead. Unfortunately, that’s the end of the offensive storyline for the Trojans who only drew two walks in their final 20 at-bats.

A quartet combined for the Fairfield pitching effort. Rebling went 3 2/3 and took the loss after allowing five runs, four of which were earned, on one hit and five walks while striking out two. Blair Bowman was next, pitching one inning of relief and surrendering two runs on one hit and three walks. Bailey Hird came next, recording two outs and allowing three runs, two of which were earned, on three hits and three walks. Allison Brynley finished the last two outs of the sixth, allowing just one hit against her three faced batters.

 

Third-place

After battling back-and-forth the entire contest, Fairfield fell 2-1 in eight innings to Clear Creek-Amana who took advantage of the international rules that were applied to the tournaments elongated games.

Hannah Simpson reached base safely three times to lead the Trojans who collected eight hits, but could not score during regulation.

In the bonus frame, the Clippers massive sophomore Ainsley Schrock hit the ball off of the centerfield fence for her second-consecutive double off the wall, scoring the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth.

Ashtyn pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing zero runs on three hits while striking out six and walking just one batter.

Brynley Allison pitched the eighth and took the loss, allowing two runs, one of which was earned, on two hits.

Shay Drish scored the lone run for Fairfield after starting on second, but the rally fell short and the Trojans finished in fourth-place.

Afterwards, sophomore catcher Grace Stever said that it had been a big goal of hers to start this season and it feels good to have obtained that goal.

Although she knows she has big shoes to fill in Sarah Trent, Stever doesn’t compare herself to anyone else and admits it was a little bit nerve racking first catching for varsity, but said she’s “gotten used to it” and is enjoying her role with the Trojans.

With weekend conditions consistently in the upper 80s to mid 90s and annoyingly humid, Stever was thankful the Trojans played a tournament style schedule instead of their normal doubleheaders.

Although Fairfield did play twice on Saturday, Stever said you just have to have the mentality to push through the heat.”

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