True underdogs

Kayla Buckmaster takes a swing at a pitch during Fallon's state softball game against Pahrump Valley.

Kayla Buckmaster takes a swing at a pitch during Fallon's state softball game against Pahrump Valley.

It was the end of a near perfect league season going right to the championship.

Neighboring rivals met for the 3A State Softball finals in Las Vegas with the Fernley Lady Vaqueros ending the Lady Wave’s undefeated season and taking the title after five losses.

Saturday’s championship game was a fight between titans, ending with a win to Fernley 3-0.

Neither team scored for the first three innings. In the bottom of the fourth, though, Fernley’s Macie Kirk scored the first run of the game. In the sixth, Alexandra Conder hit a triple to score Kirk again along with Hailee Edgar for Fernley’s final score. Fernley’s McKenna Montgomery quickly struck out Fallon’s batters and claimed victory.

The day before marked the end of the Wave’s undefeated standing. Their first state game against Fernley ended 5-4. In the fourth inning Fallon scored the first runs as Jordan Beyer and Faith Cornmesser ran home. Fallon stopped Fernley in the fifth, while Beyer scored, as well as Shebi Schultz for a 4-0 lead.

However, the game took a sudden turn in the sixth inning. Conder scored, then Montgomery hit a home run over center field to tie the game, 4-4. Reinvigorated, the Lady Vaqueros scored one more run before the inning ended.

Montgomery was also pitcher of record for the game. Cornmesser pitched for Fridays game and Kayla Buckmaster pitched Saturday.

The Wave played a second game on Friday as well, winning against Pahrump Valley in the elimination round, 5-3.

The first four innings were deadlocked. During the fifth inning, though, Fallon surged ahead with runs from Schultz, Beyer, Cornmesser and Caitlyn Welch. In the seventh inning the Lady Trojans made a push for a comeback, scoring Samantha Riding, Terrena Martin and Skyler Lauver.

This was the Wave’s second win against Pahrump Valley, the first coming Thursday afternoon, 10-3. Buckmaster scored a run in the second inning, then Cornmesser and Buckmaster scored again in the third with Hannah Hitchcock and Macie Anderson, 5-0. In the fourth, the Lady Trojans made it on the board, scoring all three runs. In the bottom of the inning Fallon continued to open its lead, reaching 8-3. The Wave’s final runs came as singles in the fifth and sixth innings by Beyer and Lorynn Fagg.

Buckmaster defeated Pahrump in both games.

“It was a tough game,” Cornmesser said. “The loser was out, so we both knew we needed to win to keep going.”

She said the games did not go the way they wanted, but she felt they were played well. She said they came with “an open mind and ready to play” against Pahrump Valley — since they had no experience with the team, the players did not know what to expect.

For Fernley, though, Cornmesser said they were not as prepared as they should have been. She also said she felt they let the pressure of it being a state game get to them; they tried to play harder than they needed to and it caused them to make mistakes.

Cornmesser, however, said the season as a whole went well. She noted they had a very young team and everyone meshed well and got along well.

“Last season we fought a lot,” she said. “But this year we really came together. It just didn’t end how we wanted it to.”

She also noted most of this season’s players would be able to play next year.

Cornmesser is looking forward to next season and believes they will have a good team. She said they noticed things they need to work on at state and can practice in the offseason to overcome them in preparation for the 2018 season.


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