ELKO — After cruising through the first three innings, things unraveled quickly for the Elko softball team Friday.
Fallon, the two-time defending state champs, once again proved to be too much for the Tribe to handle in a 16-2 blowout victory.
“I think we lost our focus a little bit and the wheels came off,” Elko coach Joe Gallegos said.
The Lady Indians’ Hailey Wright and Fallon’s Rileigh Ricken were locked into a pitching dual for the first few innings. The Wave had just one hit off Wright, a double by Danielle Rothery, to that point. The Lady Indians did not fare much better against Ricken, but they did break through for the game’s first run.
In the bottom of the third, Gabi Archunde singled up the middle, and Shaydea Mead walked. After a sacrifice bunt by Tricia Ogle moved the runners into scoring position, Bailey Heathman hit a hard ground ball to second. Fallon’s Kaysee Archer went to the dirt to make the play and threw Heathman out at first, but Archunde scored for a 1-0 lead.
The deficit seemed to wake up the Greenwave bats.
“They made adjustments to Elko’s pitching,” Fallon coach Bill Archer said. “Their pitcher did a good job of keeping us off balance for the first few innings.”
Fallon got it going with a couple of early walks in the top of the fourth. With two on base, Ricken singled to left to tie the score, and Megan McCormick came up with a two-run triple to give the Wave the lead. McCormick came home on a sacrifice fly by Paige Throne.
In the fifth, Fallon put up four more runs on back-to-back two-run doubles by Ricken and McCormick. McCormick’s double chased Wright out of the game, and Mead took over inside the circle.
“Our pitchers started to get too much of the plate,” Gallegos said. “When you do that with a team like Fallon they’ll hit it and hit it hard.”
The Wave put the finishing touches on in the top of the sixth to bring the mercy rule into play. Rothery hit a two-run home run to right-center field to make it 12-1, and the Tribe’s defense had a couple of errors in the frame as well.
Elko’s Aly Freitag gave her team one last thing to cheer about with a solo homer to left.
“The girls know they have to focus the whole game,” Gallegos said. “They have to dig deep. They can’t get a lead and start to cruise.”
McCormick led the Wave with a 3-for-4 performance from the plate with four RBIs, and four Fallon players had two hits in the game.
Fallon splits doubleheader on Day 2
For the first time since the realignment, Fallon lost to a state opponent not named Fernley.
Lowry, which lost to Fallon in the state finals last year, avenged the loss with a 4-2 win on Saturday. Fallon, though, rebounded with a convincing 16-1 win over Spring Creek.
The state runner-ups, though, scored four times in the first two innings but Fallon tried to rally late. The Lady Wave scored twice in the sixth inning.
Archer powered the offense with the team’s only two-hit performance. The senior belted a home run and doubled to go with her two RBIs. McCormick, Danielle Rothery, Cady Cordes, Ali Tedford and Izzy Thomas each had a hit.
Ricken took the loss for Fallon as she struck out six but gave up four earned runs, including a home run.
The bats, though, came back to life in the 15-run win over Spring Creek.
After scoring only one run in the first three innings, Fallon erupted for six in the fourth and nine in the fifth.
Tedford and Gabby Sharpe each had a solid day with Tedford collecting three hits and four RBIs, while Sharpe also had three hits and three RBIs. Kalyn Huckaby, McCormick, Rothery, Miranda Ford and Paige Thorne each drove in a run.
Ford earned the win going five innings and giving up only three hits and one run.
Fallon hosts Silver Stage on Saturday in a league doubleheader.
Thomas Ranson contributed to this story.