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Lady Dragons edge South Point in showdown

SOUTH POINT – Fairland Lady Dragons coach Jim Bailey knew what the deciding factor would be.

Friday, May 04, 2001

SOUTH POINT – Fairland Lady Dragons coach Jim Bailey knew what the deciding factor would be. It just took nine innings to let everyone else know.

In a game that made a major impact on the Ohio Valley Conference race, Fairland had to wait until the ninth inning to score and nipped the South Point Lady Pointers 1-0 Thursday.

"It was a well of a ball game. Everything was so even, you figured it was going to come down to a break or two," Bailey said. "We just kept battling and finally we got a break."

Fairland pitcher Jessica Mann battled South Point’s Tara Layne to get the win. Mann struck out five, gave up four hits, and did not issue a walk. Layne also pitched a four-hitter, struck out eight, and walked two.

"There was no real loser. Jessica pitched a great game, but Tara pitched a great game, too. It just came down to who was going to make a mistake and we were fortunate to come out on the winning side," Bailey said.

The game’s only run came in the ninth.

Brooke Fisher singled down the left field line to start the ninth inning. Kim Frasher put down a sacrifice bunt, but the throw to first base sailed over the first baseman’s head all the way down the right field line and Fisher circled the bases to score the game’s only run.

Layne retired the next three batters to end the rally.

South Point mounted a rally in the bottom of the ninth only to have Mann and the defense choke off the uprising.

Nikki Thacker was safe on an error and Allison Perdue put down a sacrifice bunt that sent Thacker to second.

But Whitney Morrison hit a ground ball to Fisher at short who caught Thacker too far off the base to force a rundown, and Fisher finally tagged the runner out.

Sarah Baise singled to keep the rally alive and put runners at first and second, but Mann got the next batter to pop out and end the game.

With the win, Fairland is 18-2 overall and 9-2 in the OVC, one-half game ahead of the Lady Pointers.

"That was a big win. We knew going in we had to win or South Point pretty much had first place wrapped up. We just hung in there, made some play, and Jessica held them down until we could squeak one out," Bailey said.

South Point is now 18-3 overall and 8-2 in the league. The Lady Pointers play Coal Grove Friday and Rock Hill Monday. They play at Jackson Wednesday in the Division II sectional tournament.

Fisher was 2-for-4 for Fairland and Morrison was 2-for-4 for South Point.

Fairland plays at 5 p.m. Monday at Ironton in the Division III sectional tournament, and then finishes league play at home Wednesday against Rock Hill.

Fairland 000 000 001 – 1 4 2

South Point 000 000 000 – 0 4 1

Jessica Mann and Kim Frasher. Tara Layne and Sarah Baise. W-Mann (5-K, 0-W). L-Layne (8-K, 2-W). Hitting-Fairland: Brooke Fisher 2-4, Jennifer Jones 1-4, Jessica Mann 1-4; South Point: Whitney Morrison 2-4, Sarah Baise 1-4, Allison Perdue 1-3.