Fairland takes two games from Spring Valley
FAIRLAND -- Spring Valley softball has a meager two wins on the 2013 season.
The team had a chance at two more in a doubleheader Saturday at Fairland, but errors in the first contest and a close call in the second denied the Timberwolves, as Fairland seized its opportunities and edged out Spring Valley 9-7 and 3-2.
A two-run homer from Jade Spurlock in the first inning of the first game, combined with a two-hit, five-run third inning had Spring Valley up 7-2 on the Dragons heading into the bottom of the third.
But the Dragons (6-6) immediately went to work on the deficit, getting four runs in the bottom of the third.
Ellen Hinshaw pounded a double with the bases loaded, bringing in three, and Mackenzie Riley also had an RBI double.
Fairland pitcher Allison Shepherd was able to get through the fourth without allowing any runs, and the Dragons added two more in the second half of the inning to take an 8-7 lead.
Chandler Fulks came on in relief of Shepherd in the fifth, and Spring Valley would only get one more base runner in the contest.
Hinshaw hit another double to bring in a run in the bottom of the sixth, and Fulks mowed down the Timberwolves in the team's last at bat, striking out the side in the top of the seventh.
"Shepherd gets herself into some situations but she can get herself out of them, too," said Fairland coach Joe Auxier. "I figured if I could get five innings out of her today, I would take it. I told myself if we were down five or six runs, I wouldn't even bring Fulks in, but we were right there in the game."
In fact, Shepherd ended up getting the decision in the contest, while Fulks was credited with a save.
"Our problem in the first game was that we didn't do the little things," said Spring Valley coach Allison Webb. "We missed some signs, we didn't pay attention on base-running, and we made some errors in the field, not so much physical errors, but mental errors.
"I can't take anything away from (Fairland), they were hitting the whole time. They were putting the bat on the ball pushing runs in."
As far as actual on field errors went, Spring Valley committed five in the first contest while Fairland committed four.
The second game was a much more efficient affair, with crisper pitching and fielding from both teams.
Spring Valley was able to jump out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Fulks, who started the second game, and held it until the bottom of the third.
Fulks helped herself out with an RBI double, and a sacrifice fly from Haley Woodall put the Dragons back in the driver's seat, 2-1.
The competition took a back seat in scary moment in the top of the fourth, when Spring Valley's Morgan Lucas went down running out a ground ball to first.
Lucas, who was already recovering from knee surgery, was down on the field for a long time, and eventually had to be carried off by coaches and staff.
Webb said she doesn't know if Lucas, who left the field on crutches before the second game had concluded, will be back with the team this season.
"She said she heard something pop (in her knee)," Webb said. "I don't know right now what the extent of it is, but if she heard something pop then that's not a good sign."
The sight of Lucas collapsing had a sapping effect on the team, Webb said, though Spring Valley hung in the contest, getting good pitching from Brooke Phillips, who also pitched the entire first game, and Brooke Jackson, who moved from shortstop to pitch in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Fulks seemed to be cruising through the contest on the mound for Fairland, when Spring Valley mounted a rally in its last at-bat.
Jackson, who was 3-4 in the second game, hit a triple to start things off. Spurlock followed with an RBI single, cutting the lead to 3-2.
Cassie Adkins followed with another single, and the Timberwolves had two on with no one out.
A fourth-straight hit sprung from the bat of Alex Minum, but Spurlock was thrown out at home.
Fulks then struck out Phillips.
Spring Valley brought in Taylor Brumfield to pinch hit with Adkins on third and Minum on second.
Brumfield never had a chance to put the ball in play, as a wild pitch had Adkins racing for the plate.
Catcher Chloe Stanley threw the ball to Fulks, who was covering home, and Adkins was called out on a play that could have gone either way.
"I thought (Adkins) was in there," Webb said. "I'll stand by that and I'll stand by the decision to send them. I would send either one of them (Minum or Adkins) again. You have to find a way to make plays."
For Fairland, Auxier said the "softball gods" were kind. The team played the doubleheader after returning to Proctorville at 1 a.m. following a loss at Symmes Valley.
"It seems like for us to get two wins it takes a week," Auxier said. "So to get two in one day is pretty good.
"The players we rely on for big hits for us came through in the first game, and we lost it in the second game but (Fulks) pitched well enough to get us the win."
SPRING VALLEY 205 000 0 -- 7 6 5
FAIRLAND 204 201 x -- 9 6 4
Phillips and Spurlock; Shepherd (5), Fulks and Molly Morris
Hitting: (SV) Spurlock HR, 2 RBI, Brumfield 2B, 2 RBI; (F) Hinshaw 2 2B, 5 RBI, Fulks 2B, RBI, Woodall 2-3, 2B.
SPRING VALLEY 100 000 1 -- 2 11 1
FAIRLAND 002 010 x -- 3 4 3
Phillips (4), Jackson and Spurlock; Fulks and Stanley
Hitting: (SV) Jackson 3-4, 3B, Adkins 3-4, Spurlock 2-4, RBI; (F) Fulks 2B, RBI, Woodall RBI.