Tournament time is upon us, let’s dig in.
Girls track saw its season come to a close Tuesday at the Warsaw Sectional. Just two Lady Falcon individuals cracked the top eight on the evening, those being Katie Kuhn in the 3200 (8, 12:54.03) and Madelyn Culp in the long jump (8, 15-7.75). Fairfield would finish 13th in the team field, all chasing Warsaw, which won its 16th straight team title.
Boys track will have one athlete competing at regionals, that being Nick Hofer, who placed second in discus at 141-9 at Thursday’s Goshen Sectional. Ethan Hochstetler was fifth in the event.
Marco Garcia was fifth in the 100 and sixth in the 200 to highlight the track for the Falcons, which were tenth as a team with 23 points. Elkhart won the team title.
It was Heartbreak City Wednesday afternoon for the Fairfield girls tennis team. Looking to avenge a loss to NorthWood early in the season, Fairfield led on three courts after a set, but wound up losing, 4-1, to the Panthers to end the team season. The lone court win came from Addison Mast, who moved to 20-0 on the year and will continue on in the individual sectional state tournament next week with play at Northridge. The team ends its season 10-2 overall but were NECC season and tournament champions.
Baseball won a massive NECC matchup Tuesday, knocking off Westview, 3-2, in eight innings. Landon Miller picked up the win in relief, picking up Alec Hershberger, who struck out 11 over six innings. Hershberger eclipsed the 300 strikeout plateau for his career in the win. Cohen Yoder drove in two and Eli Miller had the walk-off RBI in the eighth.
The win pushed Fairfield to 9-0 in the NECC and earning a share of its sixth NECC league crown.
The boys rallied against West Noble, using a six-run fifth inning to push through to an 8-4 victory to finish unbeaten in the NECC, and holding the league crown for the first time in a decade. Landon Miller had 12 strikeouts in relief to highlight the win against the Chargers.
To finish the week, Fairfield swept a pair of games against Three Rivers Conference teams at the Wabash Invite. Game one saw Keegan Miller throw six solid innings, striking out seven in a 9-1 win over Northfield. Michael Slabaugh had two doubles and three RBIs in the win. Owen Garrison went 6.2 innings off no-run ball and added a double at the plate in a 2-0 win over Wabash. Mitchell Miller drove in both runs for the Falcons, which moves to 22-5 on the season.
Monday had the NECC announce its All-NECC rosters for the 2023 season. Fairfield had eight total winners, led by All-NECC performers Slabaugh, Hershberger, Yoder, Garrison, Keegan Miller and Landon Miller. Honorable Mentions went to Mitchell Miller and Eli Miller.
Ava Bontrager clubbed a homer and drove in a season-high five runs as Fairfield dimed Westview, 10-0, Tuesday. Amelia Black added two hits and Faith Berkey got the shutout in the circle. Fairfield finished 8-2 in the NECC with a 14-1 drub of West Noble Thursday. Makayla Culp had four hits to lead the parade with Bailey Willard and Jayslynn Hall each collecting three hits.
Wrapping up the regular season, Fairfield took on a pair of Northern Indiana Conference teams. Friday night, South Bend Riley beat Fairfield 15-5, and in a doubleheader Saturday, South Bend Clay outlasted Fairfield in 11 innings in game one, 1-0, and edged the Falcons, 5-4, in game two.
Fairfield (15-14) heads into the NorthWood Sectional tonight to take on Wawasee at 5:30 p.m.
Golf continued to play well in the NECC, winning two matches Wednesday at Garrett Country Club. The Falcons shot 173, led by a medalist 38 from Miles Nine and 43 from Jasper Carl, to best Garrett’s 179 and West Noble’s 194. Without the services of Brayden Miller for a second consecutive meet, the Falcons still ran its NECC record undefeated to 10-0 on the year and a conference crown after posting 170 Thursday to beat Prairie Heights (182) and Central Noble (196). Nine led the way for Fairfield with a medalist 39.
At the NECC Championships, Nine and Miller each shot 83 to lead Fairfield to a runner-up team finish of 341, trailing champion Lakeland’s 325. Carter Kitson had an 87, Jake Elliott an 88 and Carl an 89. Nine, Miller and Kitson were all named All-NECC for their performance, and Elliott and Carl were both Honorable Mention All-NECC.
The junior high golfers finished third at the NECC Championships, shooting 188 to trail champion Westview’s 182 and Angola’s 183. For the first time this season, Fairfield posted all sub-50s, led by Gavin McGowen and Jayce Smith at 46, Eli Kio at 47 and Smith Wogomon at 49.