The Fairfield softball team made quick work of visiting Keokuk Thursday night with a 14-2 four inning win in the opener, followed by another 12-run, shortened-victory that improved the Trojans record to 8-6 overall and 6-0 in the Southeast Conference.
The atmosphere encouraged the girls to play quickly with bugs terrorizing the mass audience that watched the four varsity ball games played at the middle school.
“I was getting eating up and I even used Al’s bug spray,” said head coach Bob Bradfield.
As for the game?
“We learned that we can hit,” said the smiling skipper. “We sort of struggle with girls that throw slow and we did a lot better job. “It’s impossible to be disciplined on every single pitch, but we’re doing better. They made some errors and we took advantage of them. I hope that the team sees that when we take these opportunities, we can win fairly easily. If we don’t take advantage things can get away from you quickly in a close ball game.”
The Trojans scored seven times in the first inning, followed by a pair of runs in both the second and third and finally three in the fourth to kick-in the 12-run mercy rule after four frames.
Shay Drish led the team with three hits, coming up just a homerun shy of the cycle with four RBI and a run scored as well. Coty Engle, Peyton McCabe and Destiny Gridley each had multiple hits as well with Engle, Gridley, Jenna Norris, Delaney Breen and Ellie Baker scoring multiple runs, too.
Allison Rebling tossed 3 2/3 innings of two-hit ball and allowed two earned runs while striking out six and walking seven. Bailey Hird came in to close out the Chiefs for the final out in the fourth.
Drish went 3-4 again, this time with one RBI and two runs scored and got multiple hits from teammates Rebling, Hannah Simpson and Delaney Breen. Rebling, Simpson and Breen also scored multiple times and Fairfield took a one-run lead after the first and added three in the third and eight in the fourth to escape the invasion of bugs.
Fairfield hosts Chariton, Clear Creek-Amana, New London, Pekin, Van Buren, Wilton and Winfield-Mount Union for the Trojan Invitational today and tomorrow at the middle school and at O.B. Nelson Park.
“Anybody we’re going to face in our tournament is going to be a decent team, even if they aren’t ranked No. 1 in the state,” explained Bradfield.
“We’ll have three tough games but it’d be nice to have a seven game winning streak headed into next week.”