MT. PLEASANT — The 10th-ranked Fairfield softball team flexed its muscle on Thursday night in Mt. Pleasant. The Trojans dropped the Panthers in two-straight games, both shutouts, to stay unbeaten in Southeast Conference play.
Fairfield pulled away late in a pitcher’s dual in Game 1, defeating the Panthers 6-0, and exploded in Game 2 to win, 12-0, in four innings.
Allison Rebling was untouchable in the opener. She struck out 16 batters over seven shutout innings and only gave up two hits, keeping Mt. Pleasant hitters off balance all game long.
Panther ace Sydni Coleman went back-and-forth with Rebling for the most part. Fairfield’s lead was just 2-0 after four innings, but the Trojans tacked on two more runs in the fifth and two in the sixth.
“We knew Rebling was going to be good, and I think she’s a lot better this year than last year,” Mt. Pleasant head coach Troy Mears said. “She’s got more control this year, and maybe a little faster. Half of our lineup hasn’t even seen varsity pitching, let alone that caliber of pitching.”
Hannah Simpson went 2-for-3 with a game-leading three RBIs. Peyton McCabe was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Jenna Norris went 1-for-4 with an RBI, and Coty Engle finished 3-for-4.
Fairfield let loose in Game 2, scoring one run in the first inning, three in the second, seven in the third and one in the fourth.
Engle dominated over four innings in the circle, giving up one just one hit in her outing. She also struck out one.
Simpson had another big game, going 2-for-2 with a double and three RBIs. Rebling was 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs. Engle went 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Danielle Breen was 2-for-2 with two RBIs. Shaylin Drish was 3-for-3 with an RBI, and Jenna Norris went 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
“The main key is our pitchers threw well and we played great defense,” said Fairfield head coach Bob Bradfield after the sweep. “Allison struck out enough to where the defense didn’t have to do much. In the second game, Coty threw well, and her change-up was really working. When they put the ball in play, our defense looked great.”
Fairfield is now 10-1 overall and 4-0 in SEC play after two more wins at the Clear Creek-Amana tournament over the weekend. They’ve won their last eight games, and will host Ft. Madison in a conference doubleheader tonight (Monday). The Trojans and Bloodhounds are currently tied atop the SEC at 4-0.
Mt. Pleasant is now 2-7 overall and 1-3 in the SEC. They’ll also be at home tonight, where they’ll host Burlington.