Lakota East senior Sara Pearson took advantage of a second chance and hit an eighth-inning home run in what turned out to be a 2-1 victory against the previously unbeaten Fairfield Indians.
After nearly popping out in foul territory to Fairfield first baseman Jeanie Taggart, Pearson took the next pitch and launched it over the fence in right-center field for a game-winning home run in the top of the eighth inning.
“You can’t give a player like Pearson a second chance,” Fairfield head coach Brenda Stieger said. “We really should have had that foul ball, but you give a good player a second chance and those things can happen.”
Fairfield had an opportunity to comeback in the bottom of the eighth, but Pearson pitched a perfect inning and recorded the last out by striking out junior Kelly Browning.
“She is such a competitor,” Lakota East head coach Steve Castner said of Pearson. “She wants the ball on the mound, in the circle, every game … she wants to be the girl at the plate with the game on the line. A lot of athletes aspire to that, but only really good athletes want it.”
Pearson, who has signed on to play at the University of Memphis, dominated the Indians at the plate and on the mound. She went 3-for-4 as a hitter and struck out nine in a complete game performance as pitcher. The win improves Pearson’s record to 10-1 on the season.
Fairfield senior pitcher Erica D’Arcy pitched well and kept the Thunderhawks scoreless until the sixth inning when Lakota East freshman Kadey Astrop’s sacrifice fly scored sophomore Lea Buckenmyer on a close play at the plate.
Like Pearson’s big knock, Astrop was also given a second chance when D’Arcy failed to catch a pop up after tripping on Astrop’s bat in foul territory. Later in the at-bat, Astrop, who struck out in both of her prior plate appearances, drove the ball to deep right field to score the run.
In the bottom half of the sixth inning, Fairfield tied the score when senior Allison Hurst ripped a two-out single which scored senior Amanda Proctor.
The loss was Fairfield’s first of the season. The Indians are now tied atop the Greater Miami Conference standings with Lakota East. Both teams are 8-1 in the conference. Overall, Fairfield’s record drops to 8-1 and East’s record improves to 13-1.
Lakota East and Fairfield will meet again this season. The rematch will take place on the final day of the regular season for both teams May 4 at Lakota East at 4:30 p.m.
“It is always good to know that you have a second chance to get after them,” Stieger said. “Our GMC run isn’t over, we are tied with them now … we still feel good about our chances in the GMC.”