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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 22, 2017

Trojans fall in heartbreaker

Walk-off single knocks Fairfield softball team out in quarterfinals
Jul 19, 2017
Photo by: Andy Krutsinger Kaylee Watson celebrates her third inning home run as she rounds second base.

By Andy Krutsinger, Mt. Pleasant News

 

FT. DODGE — Fairfield’s first-round game had everything; a comeback, three home runs, late-inning controversy and a walk-off hit. Unfortunately for Trojan fans, it was Charles City who scored the walk-off win.

In a controversial bottom of the seventh inning, Charles City upset Fairfield, 5-4, on a walk-off single by Shanetl VanHauen.

The Trojans loaded the bases in the top of the first, but stranded all three runners. That allowed Charles City to take the early lead, scoring two runs in the first, one on a Ciana Sonberg solo homer.

The Comets added one more on an RBI single by Sonberg in the second inning and the Trojans found themselves trailing, 3-0.

Fairfield’s offense put the Trojans right back in it in the top of the third, however. Shaylin Drish scored the first Trojan run on a passed ball and Kaylee Watson followed with a game-tying two run shot to center field. Just like that, the two teams were knotted up at 3-3.

Charles City’s Tayler Schmidt hit the third long ball of the contest in the bottom of the third. She sent a solo shot just over the fence to give the Comets a 4-3 advantage.

Starting pitcher Haley Beard kept the Trojans within one with scoreless fourth and fifth innings. That bought the Fairfield offense time and the Trojans tied it up in the sixth.

Beard helped her own cause with a leadoff single. Natalie Angstead reached on an error and Brynna Bowman brought Beard home with a sacrifice fly to center field.

The Trojans loaded the bases on a hit by pitch with two outs, but Kenady Waugh’s line drive to right field was caught and Fairfield had to settle for just the one run.

Beard kept the Comets off the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth, but Fairfield went down in order in the top of the seventh.

Schmidt lead off the seventh inning for the Comets. She appeared to fly out for the first out of the inning, but the first base umpire ruled an illegal pitch on Beard to nullify the out and keep the at bat going.

The official ruled that Beard left the ground on her pitch, which made it an automatic ball. Schmidt drew a walk and eventually came around to score the winning run.

Charles City’s Sara Martin hit a single to put two on and no outs. Beard got one out on a fly ball to center but VanHauen muscled a hit to left field and the Comets were able to celebrate the walk-off victory.

“We knew going into the bottom of the seventh (that) they had some of their top hitters up,” Fairfield head coach Bob Bradfield said after the game. “We knew that was going to be a tough inning for us (and) we were hoping to score a few more an inning or two before that, but that’s the way the game went.”

Bradfield praised his team’s ability to come back from two different deficits in the contest, but said the Trojans needed one more hit to break through.

“We had runners on so many innings, I can’t remember which one was which,” Bradfield said. “We had chances but we just didn’t get the hit at the right time.”

Beard was tagged with the loss, going six and one-third innings and giving up five runs (three earned) on eight hits and four walks, while striking out four batters.

Watson finished 1-2 with a home run, two RBIs and a run. Shaylin and Ashtyn Drish each went 1-2 with a run scored. Beard was 1-3 and Waugh finished 1-4.

SEC rival Mt. Pleasant lost in a similar fashion in the preceding game, falling 3-2 on a walk-off in eight innings. Top-seeded Winterset held off Sergeant Bluff-Luton 5-2 in the Class 4A opener and third-seeded Ballard topped Carlisle 11-5.

The Trojans will face Carlisle at noon today (Wednesday), and then close out their state tournament against either Mt. Pleasant or Sergeant Bluff-Luton at 4 p.m.

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