LIMA – The Fairview Lady Apaches limited the Wayne Trace softball team to just two hits, recording a 4-0 victory over the Raiders in Division III district semifinal softball action Tuesday night at Lima Bath High School. The red, white and blue put two runners only once in the contest, coming in the top of the sixth with two outs.

“We never were able to put anything together offensively,” commented Raider head coach Amber Showalter. “Fairview is a great softball team and they were able to come up with big hits and big plays defensively today.”

Logen Bland walked with one out before Ava Zartman struck out for the second out. After Kaitlin Slade reached on an error to move Bland to second, the Apaches escaped without any damage as senior pitcher Paige Ricica struck out Paige Alber to end the threat.

Wayne Trace did get a baserunner in the seventh as well as Tianna Sinn singled but Ricica closed the door on the Raider season as Fairview advanced to Thursday’s district championship game. The Apaches (23-1) will play Van Buren (16-1), who defeated Coldwater 2-1 in Tuesday’s second contest.

Fairview scored in the opening frame to jump out to the early lead. Allison Rhodes doubled with two outs and Alexis Taylor followed with a walk. After the duo advanced a base each on a wild pitch, Rhodes came in to score when Gracie Brown took a ball-four wild pitch for a 1-0 Apache advantage.

The black and gold expanded the margin in the third. With Rhodes on first and two outs, Brown came up with a sharply hit double to left center that sent Rhodes home and pushed the Fairview lead to 2-0. After Wayne Trace failed to score in the sixth, the Lady Apaches put the game away in the home half of the frame.

Brown singled to start the inning before taking second on a Sydney Merritt sacrifice bunt. Bethany Shininger reached on an error to move Brown to third to set up a two-run single by Kayla Mavis that scored both Brown and Shininger for a 4-0 advantage.

“I thought we played pretty well and we gave ourselves an opportunity,” Showalter commented. “I am proud of the girls and their efforts this season.”

Paige Ricica earned the win with nine strikeouts while scattering two hits and two walks, throwing 74 strikeouts out of 102 pitches overall.

Freshman Raegan McGarvey suffered the loss for Wayne Trace, allowing five hits, four runs (two earned) and three walks while fanning five Fairview hitters.

Kaitlin Slade and Tianna Sinn had the lone hits for Wayne Trace, both singles.

The loss ended the Lady Raider careers of senior shortstop Macy Doster and senior right fielder Laura Thornell as Wayne Trace closes the season with a record of 10-16 overall.