FAIRBORN — By the time Fairborn’s batters could get their timing down, they were down 8-0 to the visiting Tippecanoe Red Devils, April 20 at Fairborn Community Park’s Joan Dautel Field.
Tippecanoe (9-6, 5-3 Greater Western Ohio Conference American North) bashed three homers and collected nine hits to record a 9-5 road win.
In recent weeks, Fairborn (8-5, 7-3 GWOC American South) had seen a steady diet of off-speed pitches from division foes Stebbins and West Carrollton, a pair of home-and-home series within the GWOC’s American South that saw the Skyhawks outscore the Indians and Pirates, 67-11. Those two series were sandwiched around road wins over Butler and Fenwick and a home loss to Greenville.
“We just didn’t take care of business today,” Fairborn coach Tim Duncan said. “We fell behind early, because we had seen some slower pitching the last couple weeks. It just took us time to get caught back up. It was just a timing issue on the ball.”
While Red Devils freshman pitcher Savannah Wead was limiting Fairborn to three hits and two un-earned runs through the first five innings of play, the Tippecanoe bats were alive and well.
Brooke Silcox smashed a three-run homer in the first inning as part of a 4-0 start to the contest. Freshman Kaitlyn Husic hit her first career home run — a three-run shot over the left field fence in the third inning — to give Tippecanoe a 7-0 lead. Then, lead-off hitter Hailee Varvel hit a solo shot over the centerfield fence to put her team out in front 8-0 after four innings of play.
Fairborn’s No. 8 and 9 hitters were the first Skyhawks to score, in the fifth inning. Senior outfielder Addi Richardson reached on a fielder’s choice, advanced to second on a wild pitch, then scored on an errant throw that enabled fellow senior outfielder Jordan Wilson to race around to third. Wilson then scored Fairborn’s second run of the contest on an infield groundout.
The Skyhawk bats finally appeared to come alive in the fifth inning.
Kendall Winn led off the fifth by smacking a solo home run over the left center field fence to pull the ‘Hawks to within five runs at 8-3. An unnamed No. 16 on the Fairborn roster then doubled to center, then sophomore catcher Ashlyn Baker
sent a shot over the right field fence to score both, to pull Fairborn within three of the lead at 8-5.
Tippecanoe’s Wead scored on an errant throw to home plate in the top of the seventh for the Devils’ final tally.
“That’s what we do. We hit early, then we tend to settle down in the middle (innings) which is unfortunate. But today, we stayed alive a little bit,” Tippecanoe coach Scott Sutton said. “Our top of the order really hits the ball hard. We played well tonight and we had good pitching.”
The Red Devils have the weekend off, but they’ll need the rest. Tippecanoe has five games scheduled for the next five days, Monday through Friday, next week.
Fairborn’s Duncan loved the play of sophomore third baseman Alexis Hicks, who recorded eight putouts despite some sort of a bright orange, rarely seen orb in the sky shining in her eyes for most of the game.
“… And once Kenzie Shaver settled down and got into a groove, she did fine on the pitcher’s mound for us tonight, too,” he said. “They played well. We just got behind by too much early on.”
Fairborn is back in action on Saturday morning, April 21, when they head south for a nonleague double header with Hamilton. The first game is set for 10 a.m. with Game 2 scheduled for 11:45 a.m.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.