The hype for the Lady Wave to three-peat a state championship is still alive.
The Greenwave softball team slipped past every challenger but one in the regional championships Thursday and Friday. Long-time rivals, the Fernley Vaqueros, took the regional championship with the Lady Wave 7-2 and will enter the state championship roster as the No. 1 seed.
Fallon entering at the No. 2 seed will face off with the Spring Valley Grizzlies in the first game of the bracket on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Shadow Mountain Park in Sparks.
Just like Saturday and potentially like this Friday, the Lady Wave has seen Fernley at the end of the line before just as Fallon coach Tammie Shemenski said.
“We have been in that place before and have come out on top,” Shemenski said of past state championships won against the Vaqueros. “We will go into this with one thing on our agenda ... win. My team always says “One team, one dream,” and we have been waiting to obtain that dream all year. We are going to take this one game at a time, one inning at a time. We will beat whoever we face ever inning...we do that and we will win every game. “One team, one dream,” and we intend to reach that dream on Saturday.”
The Lady Wave won its first game closer than any other this season, defeating South Tahoe with one run in the last inning for a 1-0 shutout.
“Our defense and pitching kept South Tahoe down,” Shemenski said on what made the ultimate difference. “We were getting the hits ... they were just to someone. But in the end a grouder that South Tahoe bobbled from Faith Cornmesser allowed Izzy Thomas to score and us to push forward.”
Shemenski said Friday was the initial challenge in Fallon’s first loss of the weekend to Lowry, 12-5, a game where the Lady Bucks were dropping in blooper hits which were particularly tough to defend.
“Can’t bring the outfield too far in because of their ability to hit the long ball,” Shemenski said facing the only team all season to chalk up nearly as many home runs as the Lady Wave, “so the hits were dropping in.”
On Saturday Fallon looked much more like itself in the doubleheader victory with solid batting and an outstanding job on the mound by Fallon’s lead pitcher Kayla Buckmaster as Shemenski said.
“She was able to shut down their hitting ,and we hit every pitcher they brought in,” Shemenski said.
Unfortunately, a lot of emotions and energy were put into the first game against Winnemucca, so Shemenski said, which left Fallon drained by the time it met its rival in the final game for the regional championship as both Shemenski and Vaqueros coach Diane Chapin predicted. The 7-2 victory for Fernley leaves the Vaqueros and the Lady Wave even at two wins in the four games against each other this season. With the Grizzlies in the way before a final shot at Fernley or whomever makes it to the end, Shemenski said her team si ready no matter who they face.
“This is a state championship and what we’re worked towards all year,” she said. “I expect all the teams to come into this tough. My team is strong; strong in the line-up, strong on defense and strong-willed. This is what we’ve waited for all year long and we’re going to battle for it no matter who we face.”
Fallon 1, South Tahoe 0
South Tahoe pitcher Kendra Conard, selected as the Lady Vikings’ player of the game, hurled a nine-inning six-hitter to Buckmaster’s four-hitter, and in the end, two hits made the difference.
Cornmesser knocked a grounder RBI which brought in Thomas for a last inning victory before the walk-off.
Lowry 12, Fallon 5
This was the first time the Lady Wave faced Lowry since their series three weeks ago, Lowry’s displayed its capability to hit long balls just like Fallon.
Fallon held the upper hand with a 2-0 lead in the fourth while holding Fallon scoreless for the first four innings. The Lady Wave scored on three long balls, two by Paige Thorn and one by Courtney Cross, including three RBIs by Thorn bringing in McCormick, Caitlyn Welch and herself.
Despite a big lead, Lowry held on for two miracle innings, scoring four runs in the sixth inning seven in the seventh for a final 12-5 comeback, including a home run by the Lady Bucks’ Sydney Conners.
Fallon 14, Lowry 4
Fallon’s second chance against Lowry would determine whether the Lady Wave would advance to the regional finals against Fernley.
Kayla Buckmaster pitched a six-inning six-hitter comeback allowing four runs by in a do-or-die elimination game.
Three of the Lady Wave’s batters, — Courtney Cross, Faith Cornmesser and Hannah Frank — hit pivotal long balls this game, matching the Wave’s number of home runs against Lady Bucks in the last game.
Fernley 7, Fallon 2
Fernley senior pitcher Courtney Dunn returned to the mound for another shot at Fallon’s strike zone and pitched a seven-inning four-hitter.
Fallon’s Faith Cornmesser pitched the first four innings for Fallon until Fernley’s four-run at-bat in the fourth inning. Buckmaster took over for Cornmesser when the Lady Wave was behind 6-2 after a two-run homer by Thorn which brought in Cornmesser at third.
The Vaqueros tacked on one more run in the fifth inning before two scoreless innings cemented their 7-2 victory as the No. 1 seed in Northern Nevada.