By ROGER THOMAS
---- — By ROGER THOMAS
FAIRFIELD – The Fairfield Trojans defeated Mt. Pleasant for the fifth time this season Thursday night in Fairfield. The 8-4, Class 4A, Region 6 quarterfinal win sends them to the regional semifinals Saturday night in Oskaloosa against the 23-10 Indians. Fairfield is 29-11 after the win.
The visitors surprised the Trojans with four hits and two runs in the first. Leslie Taylor led off with a single, but the real rally started with two outs. An RBI double by Sammi Goble scored Taylor and Jena Stukerjurgen singled to score Goble. The Panthers added one more hit before they were retired.
The game’s turning point happened in the top of the second. The Trojans answered with four runs and took the lead they would never relinquish. Marisa Repp opened with a single and after a Panther error, Trojan designated hitter Madison Roberts delivered a two-RBI single. Mackenzie Flattery kept the inning going with a two-out double.
Katie Anderson and Kenady Waugh would have the other two RBIs.
“The fact that we answered right away was key,” said Fairfield coach Bob Bradfield. “At times this season, we have struggled after giving up a couple of early runs.”
The Trojans went up 6-2 in the top of the third. Mackenzie McClure doubled off the fence in left and then Roberts had her second big hit in as many at bats. With one out, she hit a two-run home run to right center.
“I’ve always been a DH and it feels normal to me,” said Roberts. “I really try and use plenty of swings in the on deck circle to get loose and then I just look for a pitch to hit.”
The Trojans added single runs in the fourth and fifth. McClure’s second hit, an RBI single put Fairfield up 7-2 in the fourth. Flattery’s second hit, an RBI single made it 8-2 heading to the bottom of the fifth.
After giving up the two first inning runs, Trojan starting pitcher, Alli Deao, was in control for the next five innings. She would only allow two hits, issue no walks, and add four strikeouts.
“They kind of surprised us in the first inning but once we got our bats going, I knew we’d be OK,” said Deao. “I didn’t really do anything differently with my pitches.”
Neither team scored in the sixth but the Panthers scored two runs in the seventh off the Trojan relief pitcher to make the final 8-4.
Mount Pleasant used three hits and took advantage of the lone Trojan error to score two unearned runs.
“We will have to adjust at the plate as we will see faster pitching,” said Bradfield. “At this time of the year, you need to rely on solid pitching and make plays to continue to move on. I think that those are things that are characteristic of the way we play.”
Class 4A, Region 6 Quarterfinals
Fairfield 8, Mt. Pleasant 4
FF 042 110 0 – 8 9 1
MP 200 000 2 – 4 9 2
Fairfield battery – Alli Deao (W, 15-6) (6IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 5K) and Haley Grunwald (IP, 3H, 2R), Karley Williams catching.
2B – Mackenzie McClure, Makenzie Flattery.
HR – Madison Roberts.
Hits – Katie Anderson 1-for-4, Marisa Repp 1-for-4, McClure 2-for-4, Roberts 2-for-4, McKenna Ledger 1-for-3, Flattery 2-for-3.
RBI – Anderson, Kenady Waugh, McClure, Roberts 4, Flattery.
Runs – Waugh, Repp, McClure 2, Roberts 2, Ledger, Flattery.
Mount Pleasant battery – Cali Liechty (L, 1-10) (2 1/3IP, 6H, 6R, 4ER, BB) and Bailey Johnson (4 2/3IP, 3H, 2R, 1ER, 1K, 4BB), Morgan Fraise catching.
2B – Sammi Goble.
Hits – Leslie Taylor 2-for-4, Goble 2-for-4, Jena Stukerjurgen 1-for-4, Sarah Moffett 1-for-3, Kelsey Smith 2-for-3, Hattie Liechty 1-for-2 .
RBI - Goble, Stukerjurgen.
Runs - Taylor 2, Goble, H. Liechty.