FAIRBORN — It was a warm day already, but that didn’t seem to matter to Ashlyn Baker, or Jordan Wilson, or pretty much the rest of the Fairborn Skyhawks softball team. Their bats caught fire anyhow.
Baker and Wilson clouted solo home runs, and the Skyhawks exploded for nine runs in the fourth inning, for a 12-2 run-ruled home victory over Beavercreek on Wednesday, May 2 at Fairborn’s Joan Dautel Field.
The Skyhawks collected 13 hits, drew a pair of walks, and took advantage of three Beavercreek errors in the win. With the sectional postseason tournament set to start next week, Fairborn may very well be peaking as a unit at the right time.
“The weather’s warm. We’re feeling pretty good. Nobody’s injured right now. And everybody’s happy right now,” Fairborn coach Tim Duncan said.
Just a day after clinching the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s American South divisional title with a 6-5 road win over Xenia, Duncan hoped his team wouldn’t suffer any kind of a letdown against a solid Beavercreek team.
“I guess you’re always worried about that, but they came out tonight and they took care of business. They did what they were supposed to do, and they just did what they had to do,” Duncan added.
Fairborn’s fireworks began in the second inning. Ashlyn Baker led the inning off with a solo home run blast over the right centerfield fence. Mackenzie Culbertson then doubled to center, and moved to third on Kiara McConnaughey’s single to left. Culbertson later scored on an errant pickoff throw from the Beavercreek catcher on McConnaughey’s steal of second base. McConnaughey then scored on a fielder’s choice play to give Fairborn (13-8, 10-4 GWOC American South) a 3-0 lead.
Culbertson enjoyed a 3-for-3 day at the plate with a double, a pair of singles and two runs scored.
Beavercreek’s Maddie Neibert, Natasha Price and Chloe VanSant smacked back-to-back-to-back singles in the top half of the third inning. VanSant’s single to center drove in Neibert, Tabatha Koetter then drew a walk to load the bases, then Price scored on Danielle Young’s bases loaded walk. Price was the only Beavers batter with multiple hits (two) in the loss.
“We’ve made more base running mistakes in the last 3-4 games than we have the rest of the season,” Beavercreek coach Paul Martin said. “Maybe we’re not used to playing in nice weather. Maybe we need the cold and rainy stuff. Whatever it is, we weren’t ready to play tonight and that’s on me. That’s my fault.”
Asked whether the run-ruled loss was something his team could learn from and move on, Martin just chuckled.
“I just wanna move on! he said. “… Fairborn took advantage of a lot of our mistakes. They played good defense (no errors). They really have a nice little team over there.”
Wednesday’s win concluded Fairborn’s regular season schedule. Beavercreek (8-10, 4-7 GWOC National East) heads south to take on Springboro for a 5 p.m. Friday, May 4 contest. The Beavers then will head to Cincinnati to play a 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. non-league doubleheader against Turpin.
The Division I softball sectional tournament gets under way on Monday, May 7 for Beavercreek, the No. 12 seed, who takes on No. 7-seed Xenia on the Buccaneers’ diamond. The tournament’s No. 9 seed, Fairborn will also begin post season play on Monday. The Skyhawks head north to take on No.5-seeded Troy. Both games are set for 5 p.m. starts.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.