WINTERSET — Taking on a ranked team is not easy, but playing them after a long bus ride on their field compounds the problem.
Fairfield (30-11) and seventh-ranked Winterset (32-8) battled for a spot in the Class 4A state softball tournament Tuesday night in Winterset. After jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the game’s first three innings, the Huskies went on to end the Trojan season with a 7-2 win in the Region 6 final.
Fairfield failed to score in the top of the first, but in the inning, Katie Anderson had the first of her two doubles.
The home team wasted little time showing why they were deserving of their No. 7 ranking. The first two hitters opened the game with back-to-back hits. Mackenzie Flattery made a nice running catch of a deep fly ball near the line in right for the first out and after a ground out, it looked like the Trojans might get out of the inning unscathed.
Chelsie Benshoof spoiled those hopes with a two-RBI single.
“Giving up early runs is always a negative way to start a game,” said Fairfield coach Bob Bradfield. “When it happens against a team that is favored to beat you, it is really tough to handle.”
Both teams went down in order in the second but that meant that the top of the Winterset line-up would be hitting again in the third.
After a lead-off walk, winning pitcher, Karly Olson, drove in the first run of the inning with a single. The walk was the only one issued by Trojan pitcher, Alli Deao, and the inning would stay alive, as the Huskies took advantage of the lone Trojan error. Kylie McDonald’s two-out single closed out the three-run inning.
The Trojans cut the lead to 5-1 with a run in the fourth. Kenady Waugh had a one-out double and a two-out double by Mackenzie McClure plated the first run.