XENIA — On a night best suited for a football playoff game, or maybe ice skating, visiting Cedarville ran into a Perfect Storm, Friday night March 31 on the Athletes In Action Sports Complex softball diamond.
Sailors describe a perfect storm as when a combination of things will make for an especially rough day on the water.
Cedarville’s 15-0 run-ruled loss to the Fairborn Skyhawks was the culmination of an especially rough day for the Indians in the water.
In a steadily blowing cold mist with temperatures in the 40s, Fairborn seemed to do everything right; while Cedarville had plenty of difficulties.
The Skyhawks sent 10 batters to the plate in the opening inning, scoring seven times, to grab control of the game early.
In all, Fairborn whapped 12 hits, walked six times and stole 11 bases in five innings of play.
Meanwhile, Fairborn senior pitcher Taylor Rice was busy stifling the Indians bats. Rice fanned eight of the 16 batters she faced. Cedarville’s Lauren Whitaker reached on a two-base error, and teammate Madalyn Church doubled in the second inning, but Rice then retired the last 10 Cedarville batters in order.
Fairborn coach Tiffany Andrews said her Skyhawks might’ve come into Friday’s game with a chip on their collective shoulders after starting out the season with a pair of losses.
“This was kind of redemption for my team,” Andrews said. “The last two games, we struggled a bit. We haven’t had very much intensity. But for this game, the girls were fired up from the very start. … I’ve been working on my team staying positive and being loud and cheering for the entire game, and they really did that today.”
Every Skyhawk that saw action reached base at least once.
Kelsie Coleman, Chloe Becraft and Destiny Ferrigno each scored three runs for Fairborn (1-2), and each took advantage of some Cedarville defensive miscues to score inside-the-park home runs along the way.
Unofficially, the Indians (2-4) committed six fielding errors. Cedarville pitchers walked six Skyhawks, but seemed to improve as the game wore on.
“We have a lot of fight in us. We did lose seven seniors from last year’s team, so this is a rebuilding year for us,” Cedarville coach Katie Perry said. “They have worked hard. Tonight we were missing our starting catcher, Cheyenne Jeffers, who was out with a fever. So I was proud of how hard they played, despite the score. I was proud of the pitchers (Grace Jacobs and Lauren Whitaker) for the work that they did. One of our goals is not to just put people on base with walks, and I thought we did a better job of that tonight.
“Fairborn hit the ball well, and they hit it hard. … But this is a game that we’ll grow from. The fact that we continued to play hard despite the score, that’s a positive for us. We know what we have to work on from here. … I would expect that you’ll see more things from this team throughout the year.”
Fairborn was originally scheduled to play Chaminade Julienne at Dayton’s Patterson Park on Saturday, April 1, but that game has been cancelled because of the inclement weather. Friday’s game was originally set for Community Park, but soggy field conditions moved the contest to AIA’s artificial turf instead.
The Skyhawks will now host Trotwood-Madison for their next game on Monday. A special field dedication in honor of Joan Dautel has also been rescheduled for 5 p.m. prior to the April 3 contest at Community Park East.
Weather permitting, Cedarville is scheduled to host Dayton Dunbar for a single 11 a.m. game on Saturday, April 1.
When his fingers thaw out, you can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.