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Fairland softball program records 500th career win

Jim Walker

jim.walker@irontontribune.com

 

PROCTORVILLE — When the Fairland Lady Dragons beat the Portsmouth Lady Trojans 7-5 on April 18, it was their second win of the season.

But the win carried even greater significance overall for the program that began in 1981 with Garnet Hall as the head coach. The win over Portsmouth was the 500th in school history.

The team posted a 7-5 record that first season and Hall spent three years at the helm getting the program off the ground. Hall finished with a 21-27 record.

Jim Bailey followed Hall and the program began to take off.

During his tenure from 1984-92 and again from 1996-2002, Bailey posted a 248-88-1 record. His teams won eight Ohio Valley Conference title including the league’s first official season for a championship in 1985.

Bailey’s team also won five sectionals and the 2002 team was district runners-up.

Leroy Baise was the head coach from 2003-07 and finished at 87-31 with three league titles, three sectionals, a district crown and a berth in the regional semifinals.

Joe Auxier was in charge from 2010-13 and posted a 59-39 mark with two sectional titles in 2012-13.

Doug Curry was the coach from 1994-95 and was 37-14 with two OVC titles and two sectionals.

Jack Harris — who also coached football and boys and girls basketball — was the softball coach in 1993 and went 16-4.

Glenn Dillon posted a 12-24 record from 2008-09 and Mindy Clark was the coach from 2014-15 with an 18-23 record.

The current head coach is Stacie Smithson.

Fairland’s softball field is named for Bailey whose best season was 2002 when the team went 24-2. He posted a 44-5 record in his final two seasons.

Baise had a season-best 24-2 as well in 2006 and his final two years showed a 43-11 record. Auxier’s best team was 19-8 in 2013.

Overall, the program has 500 wins with 13 OVC titles, 12 sectional crowns and one district championship.

Softball didn’t begin in Ohio until 1978 and teams only played 16 games from the 1970s and early 1980s. The only schools in Lawrence County to have softball during the infant years were Fairland, South Point, Symmes Valley and Ironton.

Ohio eventually went to 20-game schedules and that has increased in the past few years.