SHAWNEE — It was a season to remember for Fairland’s fast pitch softball team.
One run made the difference as the Lady Owls’ stay in the Class A state fast pitch softball tournament was ended by eventual champ Morrison.
MHS made a fifth-inning run stand up during a 1-0 semifinal victory here Friday, Oct. 11.
It blasted Tushka 12-2 in Saturday’s championship game.
“It was great to get that first win, that quarterfinal win, then get to the semifinals,” Fairland coach Chad Ross said. “We had a feeling going in it would be a dogfight with Morrison. It was kinda like a carbon copy of the first time we played them (a 2-0 Lady Owl win in the Ripley Tournament early in the season), just on the opposite side of the score.
“It was just a tough, hard-fought game. We outhit them and outpitched them; just didn’t outscore them.”
The Lady Wildcats allowed only four runs in the tournament and the single tally against Fairland was their closest game in the tournament.
Roff had two in the first round Thursday.
“We thought that was going to be the championship game; whoever won that game was going to win the next day,” Ross said.
This was Fairland’s first state tournament appearance in 16 years.
The No. 6 Lady Owls (30-7) had advanced with a 7-5 win against No. 3 Canute on Thursday, Oct. 10.
Fairland had only three hits off Lady Wildcat pitcher Kaylyn Raper Friday: a double and single by Savannah Hutchison and a base hit from Scout Mayfield.
An error gave Morrison its only run.
Paris Wariner led off the MHS fifth with a walk. She was sacrificed to second by Rylee Hughes and scored when a ball hit by Hally Vaughn allowed Wariner to sprint home.
Fairland left the bases loaded in the sixth when Kinley Powell reached on a two-out error, Hutchison doubled and Erica Schertz walked.
However, Raper worked out of trouble by striking out Grace Goins with a strikeout.
Then in the seventh, Raper retired the side in order on a foul out and two strikeouts.
Morrison (32-4) had only one hit — a double by Kallie Rupp — against Schertz, who fanned 10 and walked two.
“It really was a great season,” Ross said. “There were lots of memories. It’s just unfortunate we were on the short end of that last game. It definitely was a special season.”
Fairland 7, Canute 5
The Lady Owls did the bulk of their damage in the first three innings, scoring twice in their first trip to the plate, three in the second and one in the third as they got their first-ever state tournament win.
Fairland tacked on an insurance run in the sixth on a double by Hutchison, her second of the game and her third hit.
Canute (30-7) made things interesting by cutting the score to 6-3 in the sixth frame then picked up two more in the fifth.
The Lady Owls’ first-inning runs came on a Hutchison double and an error, then the next three came on fielder’s choice by Powell, an RBI single by Hutchison and an error.
Davis plated Fairland’s sixth run with a bases-loaded walk.
In addition to Hutchison’s big day, Davis had two doubles, Jordan Gates two singles and Powell, a single.
Kylee Smith collected two singles for the Trojanettes while Madison Faylor and Haley Schreck added one each.
Schertz had nine strikeouts and she walked seven in the circle.