With one swing of the bat, the Fallon softball team ended the regular season on a high note.
The Lady Wave used a three-run home run from junior Rileigh Ricken to down Yerington, 4-0, on Tuesday at the Ed Arciniega Complex.
Ricken drove a pitch to left field, which bounced off the top of the fence to put Fallon up 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Lady Wave scratched across another run in the sixth to secure their second straight win.
Ricken also picked up the victory in the circle as Fallon finished the regular season 19-9 overall.
“Rileigh had some more walks than usual,” Fallon coach Bill Archer said. “The win is big … but we are going to make some adjustments for the playoffs.”
But now, it becomes a waiting game.
The Lady Wave return to the field May 3-4 at home for a three-game series in the first round of the Northern Division I-A playoffs. Their opponent is still to be determined.
Fallon, though, locked up the No. 3 seed for the playoffs with a 9-3 record in the Northern DI-A. Should Fernley (8-1) sweep Dayton, the Vaqueros, who own the tiebreaker over Lowry, would earn the No. 1 seed, while Lowry (11-1) would be No. 2. If Dayton steals a game from Fernley, and Lowry wins out, the Buckaroos would be No. 1 and Fernley No. 2.
In an odd scheduling conflict, Fallon will play former Division I foe Bishop Manogue on May 6.
“We want to work on all three phases, but the key thing is our hitting,” Archer said. “I think as whole, we’re not adjusting to the different pitching that’s coming through. We have to adjust quicker.”
For Archer, though, the real season begins next week. He said it is time for the freshman to continue their success, but they must also realize the club is going for its third straight state championship, which would be a first in school history.
The loss of senior slugger Danielle Rothery, who suffered a season-ending knee injury several weeks ago, is a big blow. Filling the void, though, has been Shelby Lawry behind the plate and Ricken in the box.
Lawry is hitting .405 with four doubles, while Ricken leads the club with five homers and 28 RBIs. Senior second baseman Kaysee Archer, who signed to play college ball at Western Nevada College, is hitting .342.
In fact, the Lady Wave boast eight hitters with an average above .300. Despite the numbers, Archer said the club is in a bit of funk offensively, but has time to make adjustments before the playoffs.
“I think we’re slumping a bit … but we’re grooving up for whoever we play in the playoffs,” he added.
Archer enlisted six freshmen to fill the voids left by last year’s graduates. Paige Thorne and Megan McCormick have been feasting on opposing pitching as the duo has seen the most playing time among the youngsters.
Thorne is hitting .354 with nine doubles, two triples and 19 RBIs in 65 at-bats, while McCormick is batting .320 with two homers, 19 RBIs and leads the club with 30 runs scored in 75 at-bats.
Kalyn Huckaby (.341), Izzy Thomas (.312), Macy Myers (.238) and Miranda Ford (.286) have also chipped in. Ford has also compiled a 6-2 record in the circle with 17 strikeouts and a 3.55 ERA.
The veterans, though, have the experience of two state titles and increase of intensity in the postseason. This year, only two Northern teams qualify for the state tournament due to realignment in the Southern Division I-A, making for a much more urgent and intense regional tournament in Winnemucca.
“A lot of kids haven’t been here, but there are seven kids that have seen the playoffs and know that’s a whole different level,” Archer said.
Baseball hangs on for win
The Fallon baseball team held off a late Yerington rally for a 7-6 Lahontan League win on Tuesday at the Ed Arciniega Complex.
The Greenwave found themselves in an early 3-0 hole after the third inning. In the fourth, however, Fallon pushed across four runs and added two in the fifth and one in the sixth to take a 7-5 lead.
The Lions scratched across a run in the top of the seventh, but Fallon held on for the win.
The Wave improved to 16-8 overall and clinched the No. 3 seed for the Northern Division I-A playoffs. Fallon’s opponent in the three-game series on May 3-4 at the Ed Arciniega Complex is to be determined.
Fallon also clinched its third consecutive league title and postseason berth. If the Wave win the opening series, they would play in Winnemucca May 10-11 in the regional tournament. The top two teams from the regional tournament qualify for the state tournament at the College of Southern Nevada in Henderson on May 17-18.