Washington Evening Journal
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Washington, IA 52353
FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield softball team desperately needed a pair of wins on Thursday night if it wanted to stay within eyeshot of the Southeast Conference title, but it wasn’t going to be an easy task.
Against a Burlington team that had already knocked off the Trojans once this season and sat just ahead of them for second place in the standings, Fairfield battled for two clutch wins, beating the Grayhounds 3-1 in Game 1 and 7- 3 in Game 2.
“Our girls did a great job tonight,” said Trojan head coach Bob Bradfield. “We were playing a pretty good team.”
On senior night, it was a handful of Trojan seniors who anchored the night. One of those seniors, Brynley Allison, sparked a Game 1 comeback in the sixth inning.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the frame, Allison stepped to the plate to lead off the half-inning. She singled and eventually came around to score the game-tying run on a wild pitch.
“I just knew my team needed me to step up,” Allison said. “So I pit my bat to the ball.”
Fairfield would take the lead when Emersyn Manley scored one on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly. Payton McCabe knocked in one on a single, and it was 3-1 Trojans.
Coty Engle pitched a gem in Game 1. She gave up just one earned run on three hits and a walk, while striking out nine Grayhounds in a complete-game win.
Fairfield jumped on Burlington early in Game 2, taking a 4-0 lead after the first inning. The Grayhounds had the game down to one run, at 4-3 in the fourth, but the Trojans pulled away with three more in the sixth.
“We played clean softball,” said Bradfield. “Not many mistakes.”
Another senior, Delaney Breen, came up big in Game 2. She held Burlington to three earned runs over five innings of work to earn the win in the circle.
Allison went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs in the Game 2 win. Engle was 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. Hannah Simpson went 2-for-4 with a double. McCabe was 2-for-3, and Manley knocked in two runs.
After its weekend games, Fairfield is now 21-8 overall and 10-4 in conference play, just two games behind first-place Fort Madison in the loss column. The Trojans will play at Washington (11-20, 7-9) on Monday.