The Force is strong in Fallon.
The 12- and 14-under Fallon Force softball teams each won their division at last weekend’s Sierra Girls Softball Summer Slam in Reno, setting the stage for this weekend’s state tournament. Both teams will be competing in the three-day tournament in Susanville, Calif., beginning today. The final tournament of the summer season is the World Series next month in Carson City.
The feeder team to the high school’s softball program, the Force continues to bring success to the Greenwave. Jamie Winkler, who coaches the 14-under team, helps mold players to be ready for Tammie Shemenski’s high-school team in the spring. Her team works with Shemenski often and takes advantage of batting practice with the high-school pitchers.
“All the girls on my team have goals of playing in high school and college, so we work closely with Tammie on building athletes ready for her program,” said Winkler, who’s been coaching for four years. “This team has a never-say-die spirit and they will fight to the end every second of every game. They are a pleasure to be around as well as coach.”
Winkler’s 14-under Force overcame an early loss in the Reno tournament to come out on top Sunday. After Fallon lost 10-5 to the Nevada Hotshots, it came back with a 14-0 win over the Nevada Beasts and a 10-3 victory over NorCal Ridge to secure the No. 2 seed for Sunday’s single-elimination round. Fallon defeated NorCal again, 6-2, before blasting past the Nevada Wildcats, 15-6, for the team’s second crown in the last three tournaments.
Fallon will compete in the state tournament today at 3:30 p.m. at Lassen Community College and will resume pool play Saturday morning before seeding. The title game is Sunday at Ranch Park.
Winkler, who’s assisted by Nick Helton, has 11 players on this summer’s team. The 14-under team includes Lydia Bergman, Shaylee Fagg, Lena Leal, Kate Rios, Jhada Ramsey, Gaby Winkler, Kaitlyn Brannon, Savana Manha, Karlee Hitchcock, Mackenzie Fish and Destiny Tonti.
The 12-under team is no exception from success, either.
Fallon won its third tournament in a row by going undefeated in Reno. The Force came from behind on Shayda Lofthouse’s pitching performance and Kamryn Paladini’s home run in the final at-bat to defeat Fernley Xtreme, 3-2, for the championship on Sunday. Fallon defeated Reno Riptide (7-6), Fernley (4-3) and Reno Elite (10-0) in pool play to earn the No. 1 seed. Fallon beat the Elite, 14-3, in Sunday’s opener.
Dawn Clark is the team’s head coach this season and assistants include Louie Mori and Jamie Lofthouse. The team includes Hudsyn Clark, Trinity Helton, Lainee Reid, Kambrie Thorn, Kylie Wallace, Reese Hutchings, Franny Mori, Aubree Shear, Darci Owens, Shadya Lofthouse and Paladini.
Fallon will face the Elko Inferno today at 2 p.m. to open pool play and will take on the Reno Elite Saturday morning at Ranch Park. The title game is Sunday at Ranch Park.