Layla Hattan
Brock Netter

Brock Netter

Brock is SOSA's primary writer and has worked for the Coshocton Tribune, the Kankakee Daily Journal (Ill.) and the Vinton-Jackson Courier. He's a two-time award-winning journalist, a lifelong WWE fan, a suffering Bengals fan and calls the sidelines his home.

Fairfield seals statement win, tops Manchester in SHAC showdown

The Lions relied on strong pitching and defensive performances.

Brock Netter, Staff Writer

LEESBURG — Coming off what they considered to be a disappointing weekend in the Carol Vice Classic at Portsmouth Clay, the Fairfield Lions wanted to make a statement.

Fairfield’s Katelyn Chambliss throws a pitch during Monday’s win over Manchester.
CREDIT: Brock Netter/SOSA

Re-entering SHAC II action on Monday, they relied on their defense and solid pitching from Katelyn Chambliss and made that statement with a 2-0 win over Manchester in a pivotal league game.

“Our defense was solid as a rock, and we made some big plays at crucial points in the game,” Fairfield coach Mark Dettwiller said. “Jaylie Duncan doubled up a girl from right field, Emmi Vance made a diving stop at first base and Faith Miller made a backhand stop to throw a girl out. Those three plays along with solid pitching won us this game.”

Chambliss didn’t play any mind games in the circle. She was all business.

Just a freshman, she located the ball well and allowed her defense to make plays behind her. She finished the evening with the win after tossing a complete game, allowing just four hits and striking out four batters.

“She’s not overpowering in any way, but she hits her spots really effectively,” Dettwiller said. “She’s going to make you swing the bat, and as long as our defense continues to play behind her like we did tonight, we’ll find ourselves in a pretty good spot. But we still have a long way to go to get there.”

Manchester’s Emilee Applegate suffered the loss, but still had a solid outing in a complete game effort, allowing six hits and two earned runs.

Both teams stranded runners on base in the opening two innings. And with the way both pitchers were performing in the circle, it felt like one run was all it was going to take to win.

After Duncan registered a double play to end the top of the third, the Lions (10-3, 6-0 SHAC) used that momentum and capitalized on the moment.

Halle Hamilton and Caitlyn Campbell started off the bottom half with back-to-back singles before moving up a base with two outs.

That set the stage for Emmi Vance to come through as she took a 1-2 pitch through the left side, scoring Hamilton and Campbell for a two-run single that put Fairfield ahead 2-0.

“I knew I had two strikes on me, and I saw an inside pitch coming at me,” Vance said. “I just had to get it done and get a good hit since we needed those two runs.”

From that point on, Chambliss dominated in the circle and allowed just two hits throughout the rest of the night. Her razor sharp defense played flawlessly behind her to seal the deal.

“It was a much better day for me on the mound, and for us as a team compared to Saturday,” Chambliss said. “I had a wonderful defense behind me, which made me look really good. It just came down to me going out and doing what I knew how to do.”

“It was a complete turn around from Saturday,” Dettwiller said. “We hit the ball really well on Saturday, but committed too many errors and didn’t make the simple routine plays. We didn’t hit the ball as well today, but our defense made every play they could and that’s what I’m most happy about. The hitting will come back around, and hopefully this defensive effort will stay when it does.”

Vance finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs, Hamilton went 2-for-3 with a run scored and Campbell was 1-for-3 with a run scored. For Manchester, Gabby Brown finished with three of the Greyhounds’ four hits on the day.

Fairfield returned to action Tuesday and handed Eastern Brown a 12-5 loss. The Lions will be back in action on Tuesday, hosting Peebles, while the Greyhounds (11-4, 5-2 SHAC) travels to Whiteoak the same evening.

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