Courier sports staff
---- — FAIRFIELD – Slated to play 14 innings of softball Tuesday in a varsity doubleheader, Burlington and Fairfield instead decided to play just one extra-long regular season finale contest Tuesday night in Jefferson County.
The Grayhounds and Trojans got all 14 innings in during the opening game of the scheduled doubleheader before Burlington finally pulled out a 5-4 victory at Fairfield. After playing the long non-conference opener, both teams mutually agreed to call off game two of the doubleheader as both teams will be moving onto postseason play later this week.
Fairfield rallied from a late 4-0 deficit, scoring a pair of runs in each of the last two innings of regulation. Katie Anderson scored runs in both innings, including the trying run in the bottom of the seventh, but Fairfield left the winning run at third with one out as the game remained tied at 4-4 for six scoreless innings before Burlington pushed a run across in the 14th off Fairfield relief pitcher Haley Grunwald.
The extra-inning win pushes Burlington back over .500 for the first time since a six-game losing streak dropped the Grayhounds to 8-9 after winning five in a row to improve to 8-3. Having won four in a row to finish the regular season at 17-16, Burlington opens in the Class 5A regional semifinals Saturday night at second-ranked Ottumwa at Huston Field at 7 p.m.
Fairfield, meanwhile, will take a 28-11 record into the Class 4A postseason. The Trojans, who narrowly missed winning at least a share of the Southeast Conference title after Washington swept Fort Madison Monday to earn the outright title by a game, will host Mount Pleasant Thursday in the regional quarterfinals.
Burlington 5, Fairfield 4 (14)
Bur. 010 012 000 000 01 — 5 9 1
F.F. 000 002 200 000 00 — 4 10 2
Fairfield battery — Alli Deao (12IP, 6H, 4R, ER, 9K) and Haley Grunwald (L, 14-5) (2IP, 3IP, R, ER), Karley Williams catching.
2B — Mackenzie Harwood.
Hits — Harwood 3-4, Katie Anderson 2-6, Marisa Repp 2-6, Sydney Burnett 1-6, Madison Roberts 1-6, Kenady Waugh 1-6.
RBI — Repp, Roberts, Waugh.
Runs — Anderson 2, Burnett, Repp.