Second-year Fallon softball coach Bill Archer thought scoring 13 runs in last year’s state championship would have been enough for the Lady Wave.
Instead, Fallon saw its cross-valley rival storm back to win the title but Archer and his club vowed not to let that happen again.
In the first meeting since seeing Fernley come back to win last year’s state title, the Lady Wave erupted for six innings in the second inning and took advantage of the Vaqueros’ poor defense in a 10-2 win Tuesday in Fernley in the league opener for both teams.
Fallon improved to 2-4 overall while Tuesday was Fernley’s first game of the year.
The Lady Wave continues league play as they host Truckee today at 3 p.m. and a doubleheader on Saturday at 11 a.m. Fernley hosts Dayton for a three-game series.
“I’m never surprised with anything playing Fernley,” Archer said. “I feel like if you play a good softball game and put five runs on a team and have decent pitching and all facets with the game in defense you should be able to win a ball game. We know we put 13 runs against Fernley and knew that wasn’t enough last year. I was pleasantly surprised a little bit.”
Senior Rileigh Ricken was effective both in the pitching circle and at the plate, posting a game-high three hits and two RBIs. Kayla Buckmaster and Megan McCormick each collected two hits and one RBI, while Paige Thorn, Courtney Cross, Hannah Frank, Izzy Thomas and Ali Tedford each had one hit. Tedford’s solo hit came on a two-run double.
“We talked about that,” Archer said about the last meeting against Fernley. “It’s a league game. It’s not regionals or state but they were excited. They were pumped up to return and get to playing. Fernley’s a competitive team. I know they were pumped up as well to be playing us on their home turf. Our kids answered to the bell.”
While its cross-valley rival committed 11 unofficial errors, the Lady Wave was more proficient in the field with only two errors. But it didn’t matter to Ricken as she pitched a complete game. Ricken gave up one earned run on eight hits and struck out one with no walks.
Archer said the team’s preseason tournament in Central California helped get Fallon on the right page to open the I-A slate.
“To get right into it with Fernley and come back after Elk Grove after getting some work up there with the weekend prior, we felt good even with the one win against McQueen and to compete with a couple of the good California squads,” he said. “We felt OK with the way we came out with that. Kids were excited to play and redeem themselves from last year.”