The Fairfield Lady Lions (6-0, 4-0 SHAC) shutout their fourth consecutive Southern Hills Athletic Conference opponent defeating the Whiteoak Lady Wildcats (2-4, 2-2 SHAC) 4-0. Lady Lion pitcher Arica Melson threw her second one hit shutout in as many days. The Fairfield Lady Lions faced one of the best pitchers in Ohio in Whiteoak’s Kylie Sosby. Sosby was the Southeast District IV Player of the Year in 2013 and first team All Ohio.
Arica Melson and Kylie Sosby squared off in a good ole fashion pitcher’s duel for two of top teams in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference. The matchup was as advertised.
The Fairfield Lady Lions would mount a threat in the top of the first inning. Grace Larrick led off the inning reaching first base on a dropped third strike and stole second base on the next pitch. Kaitlin Evans had a slap bunt to the left side of the infield for a single as Larrick advanced to third base. Evans then stole second base to set the table for Shelby Smithson.
It was a matchup of interest all game long - an All State pitcher vs an All State hitter. Sosby would win the first round catching Smithson on a called strike three on the outside corner. Cynnamon Sova-Davy laid down a bunt back to Sosby, but she held the runner at third base as Sova-Davy reached first to load the bases. Kylie Sosby would get out the bases loaded jam with back to back strikeouts.
The Whiteoak Lady Wildcats would put two runners on base in the bottom of the first inning on back to back walks. But Arica Melson would strike out the next two batters and end the inning with a ground ball back to the circle.
The pitchers would continue to dominate in the early innings. Kylie Sosby retired eight consecutive Lady Lion hitters in the first, second, and third inning. Arica Melson retired twelve consecutive Lady Wildcat batters in the first, second, third and fourth inning.
The Fairfield Lady Lions would finally get to Sosby and the Lady Wildcats with three runs in the top of the fifth inning. Kourtnie Smith hit a hard ground ball to the left side and was safe on an error. Grace Larrick was safe was on a slap bunt single to the left side and when throw was wide of first base, Smith scored and Larrick ended up on second base.
Shelby Smithson stepped to the plate for round three of “The Hitter” vs “The Pitcher”. Kylie Sosby struckout Shelby Smithson in the first inning and the third inning to win the first two rounds, but Shelby Smithson turned a Sosby fast ball around and hit mammoth drive into the vast regions of right centerfield for a triple to plate Larrick. One out later, Halie Chain lined a single to right centerfield to knock in Smithson.
The Lady Lions would add a fourth run in the top of the sixth inning. With two outs and no one on base, Kourtnie Smith swung at strike three in the dirt and reached first base. Grace Larrick also reached first base on a dropped third strike in the dirt as Smith advanced to third base. Smith and Larrick pulled off a double steal as Smith scored.
Arica Melson continued her dominance of Southern Hills Athletic Conference hitters retiring the last six batters in the sixth and seventh innings including four strikeouts.
Grace Larrick, Kaitlin Evans, Cynnamon Sova-Davy, and Halie Chain all singled for the Lady Lions. Shelby Smithson tripled. Caitlyn Evans had the only hit for the Lady Wildcats, a single to centerfield in the fifth inning.
Arica Melson (5-0) was the winning pitcher for Fairfield. Arica’s Pitching line: 7 innings, 1 hit, no runs, no earned runs, 3 walks, 12 strikeouts. Kiley Sosby (2-4) suffered the loss for Whitoak. Sosby’s pitching line: 7 innings, 5 hits, 4 runs, no earned runs, no walks, and 18 strikeouts.
The Fairfield Lady Lions will host the Wilmington Lady Hurricanes in a double header on Saturday. The first game will start at 1:00 PM.