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Softball Seniors, Season Celebrated Graduating players hailed for great play


It’s been a great year for Fairfield’s softball squad, as the Indians closed the regular season 18-3 overall, clinched second place in the Greater Miami Conference just behind Mason at 15-3, and started the postseason Wednesday with a 6-0 victory over Ursuline Academy.

Marking this success was Monday’s Senior Night celebration, as Fairfield honored six graduating players. The Indians defeated Lakota West, 3-0, after holding pregame ceremonies. Coach Brenda Stieger introduced each girl and their families, reading their bios as they entered the field.

The six players:

Abby Leugers: 3-year varsity player. Plans to attend Miami University and is enlisted in the Army Reserves to study business management and hospitality. Favorite memory:  Going all the way to the Regional Finals in 2023. Quote for teammates: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

Abby Stanfield: 4-year varsity player. Plans to attend  Lourdes University to study nursing and continue her softball career. Favorite memory: Winning the District Championship last year and teaching Coach new words from her generation. Quote for teammates: “It’s better to try and fail, then not try at all.”

Izzy Saylor: 2-year varsity player. Plans to attend University of Cincinnati and study biochemistry. Favorite memory: Getting hyped up during competitive games and coming out with a good win. Quote for teammates: “Don’t cry because it’s over.  Smile because it happened.”

Jillian Huey: 4-year varsity player. Plans to attend University of Rio Grande and study Allied Health and continue her softball career. Favorite memory: Beating Centerville and winning the District Championship last year. Quote for teammates: “Control what you can control.”

Karley Clark: 4-year varsity player. Plans to attend Kent State University and major in speech pathology and ASL. Favorite memory: Her triple in the District Finals game last year against Centerville which was key in the team’s win to be District Champions. Quote for teammates: “Be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

Leanna Lawson: 3-year varsity player. Plans to attend Ohio State University and study health and rehabilitation sciences. Favorite memory:  Her memorable varsity debut, face-planting into first base her sophomore year at the Mason preseason scrimmages and winning the District Championship last year. Quote for teammates: “Good, better, best, never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is best.”

Other Senior Night highlights included:

* Giant photos of the girls’ heads waved by the fans, creating some rather surreal moments.

* Athletic director Aaron Blankenship throwing out the first pitch, a strike to catcher Karley Clark.

* A postgame collecting by the players of dirt from the field to be stored in special keepsake bottles to remind them of “home.”

The Indians, who had a first-round bye before defeating Ursuline, advance to the district semifinals Monday against Ross at home.

Photos of the Senior Night festivities by journalism teacher Mark Braam can be downloaded at