FAIRLAND — It’s a 3 hour, 41 minute drive to Rattan for its Class 3A slow pitch softball regional, but Fairland coach Jeni Kline isn’t complaining.
“It’s unfortunate that we have to travel so far (215 miles), but it could have been worse,” Kline said.
The Lady Owls earned their regional berth with a 5-2 win over Barnsdall in the “if” game of their District 8 tournament at Fairland on Thursday, April 19.
Fairland (23-7), ranked 14th in the final regular season ossaaranking.com poll, is part of a loaded field that includes No. 3 Rattan (29-8), No. 8 Strother (25-10) and No. 11 Wister (18-9).
“All four teams in our regional have similar records. If we play like we are capable of, we definitely have a shot,” Kline said.
Wister and Strother meet in the 1 p.m. opener, followed by Fairland and Rattan at 2:15 p.m.
The two winners play at 3:30 p.m. with the winner moving on to the state tournament.
The two first-round losers play at 4:45 p.m. with the winner of that game facing the loser of the 3:30 p.m. game at 6 p.m. with the other state tournament berth up for grabs.
“We have our moments of weakness, like any team, but these girls show much heart and determination every time they step on that field,” Kline said.
Barnsdall had forced the second district championship game with a 10-3 victory over the Lady Owls.
In the deciding game, Fairland broke out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning then came back with a final two in the third.
Nikki Dingle had a home run in the first inning and Kyndall Davis added a round-tripper to key the third-frame rally.
Makayla Jackson also had a single for the Lady Owls.
Barnsdall had six hits in the game.
Barnsdall 10, Fairland 3
An eight-run third inning helped the Lady Panthers get control of the first game with FHS.
They got a final two runs in the third.
Fairland averted a shutout by scoring a run in the fourth. It came back with two more in the sixth inning.
Davis had a solo homer to account for the fourth inning Fairland.
Davis and Tori Barker added singles.
In other games, Barnsdall blanked Afton 7-0 and Fairland held on for a wild 14-12 win against the Lady Eagles.
Fairland 14, Afton 12
The Lady Owls needed a seventh-inning rally to turn back Afton.
Fairland was up 4-0 heading into the fifth only to have Afton erupt for nine runs in the sixth.
Fairland tied the score with five runs only to have the Lady Eagles regain the lead by scoring once in the fifth and twice in the sixth.
Fairland then put together its game-winning rally in the bottom of the seventh.
Lilly Triplett had a home run in the sixth and added a double and single for Fairland.
Madison Stotts, Makayla Jackson, Nikki Dingle and Kaylee Schumacher all had two singles.
Davis, Chelsey Dushane and Alexis McGranahan all had a base hit.
Carlee Shinn, Savanna Mullikin, Taylee Burrow, Dylan Mishmash, Addi Hicks and Clarissa Rice all had two singles for the Lady Eagles.
Laney Hudson and Bailey Fields each chipped in with a single.