Fernley softball slugs its way past Yerington
By THOMAS RANSON
Appeal News Service
FERNLEY - All season long Jayme King has been the queen of diamonds in the Northern 3A.
Friday's regional playoff opener was no different for the Fernley slugger. King blasted two home runs, including a sixth-inning grand slam, to give the No. 1 Lady Vaqueros a 13-3 win over No. 6 Yerington.
"It doesn't matter what pitcher or what team comes up," Yerington coach Laurie Thom said of King. "She's a good hitter."
The win puts Fernley one victory away from going to next week's state tournament at Bishop Manogue. Both teams square today at 10 a.m. followed by an "if" game at Fernley in the best-of-3 series.
The defending state champs had problems scoring until its eight-run sixth inning.
"We finally just got set into a groove and were relaxed," Fernley coach Diane Chapin said. "We hit the ball like we usually do."
After spotting the Lions a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Nikole Whitney tied the game on an RBI groundout and Seandra Beck followed with a one-run triple to the left-field fence off starter Angela Moore. Sara Mello picked up the win for Fernley, pitching six innings.
King hit her first home run, a solo shot to lead off the third inning and give Fernley a 3-1 lead. Whitney followed with a home run to right-center field.
"They've got hitters. They came through and really hit in that [sixth] inning," Thom said. "We battled. It was close. We just have to get rid of that one bad inning."
Yerington managed to cut the deficit to a run in the fourth inning when Moore singled in one run and Courtney Cliften hit a one-run double. Fernley, though, countered with a run in the bottom half before scoring eight in the sixth.
"Every time we played them this year, that's where they get their runs," Chapin said of the Lions' early scoring.
King's opposite-field grand slam started the scoring spree before Marchie Wilder and Annie Lowrey each singled one run.
"She's been coming on strong lately," Chapin said of King. "The last time against Yerington she had a couple extra-base hits. She's just a really good athlete and hitter."
Sev Johnson's walk scored a run and Frances Estrada, who signed to play for Western Nevada College next year, drove in the final run to end the game by the mercy rule.