Fallon’s Raygen Bartel hits safely in Friday’s series-opening win over Spring Creek. The Greenwave will open the playoffs as the No. 2 seed.
Photo by Thomas Ranson.
Two wins and Fallon’s back in the state tournament for the first time since it won it all five years ago.
After sweeping Spring Creek last weekend to finish 14-1 in the 3A East, the No. 2 Wave will await the winner of No. 3 Lowry-No. 6 Dayton in today’s 3A Northern Region tournament. Fallon, which received a bye along with No. 1 North Valleys, which won the 3A West, will face either Lowry or Dayton at 3:45 p.m. with the winner taking on either North Valleys, No. 4 Fernley or No. 5 Elko at 1:30 p.m. Friday. The Friday afternoon winner punches its ticket to the state tournament.
A Fallon loss on Thursday would drop it to the consolation bracket where it will face the loser of Fernley-Elko at 9 a.m. on Friday. Fallon would need to win twice on Friday to advance to the consolation final at 9 a.m. on Saturday, which will determine the second and final team for next week’s state tournament in Mesquite.
Fallon’s only losses to 3A opponents this year came to North Valleys in March and at Elko in April.
With its playoff fate already known, the Wave flexed its muscles in the final series of the regular season, defeating Spring Creek 20-5 on Friday and 10-0 and 13-3 on Saturday at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex. Fallon enters the regional tournament on an eight-game winning streak.
After building an 8-0 lead in the first inning, Fallon saw Spring Creek mount a comeback to trail, 8-5, in the third inning. The Wave, though, responded with 12 runs in the bottom of the inning to end the game.
Fallon reached base safely in the first 12 at-bats. Dana Buckmaster and Lydia Bergman singled in runs to increase the lead to 11-5 before Kiley Wallace doubled in Bergman and Reece Hutchings. Taralynn Vershum singled in Wallace and Raygen Bartel’s line drive scored Tutie Ames, bringing the score to the 10-run-rule mark, 15-5. Vernita Fillmore and Buckmaster hit back-to-back singles, scoring three more runs before Bergman’s flyball to center was the inning’s first out.
Wallace singled in Fillmore and Vershum ended the game with a line-drive single to score Buckmaster from second.
Janessa Bettencourt pitched three innings, allowing three earned runs and eight hits while striking out three.
Saturday’s doubleheader opener saw Fallon jump out to a 7-0 lead after three innings before it ended the game in the fifth.
Errors led to the first three runs in the first inning before Hutchings scored on a passed ball for the fourth run. Ames’ RBI groundout to score Wallace capped off the scoring.
Two runs scored with two outs in the next inning after Bergman and Hutchings opened the frame with singles. Bergman scored when Vershum singled and Ames’ single brought in Vershum, increasing the lead to 7-0.
After an RBI groundout brought Fallon within two runs of ending the game early, Buckmaster grounded out but scored Maddie Keller in the fifth inning. With Bergman at the plate, Fillmore scored on a passed ball to end the game.
Fillmore picked up the winning, striking out six in the three-hit shutout.
After Fallon tied the series finale in the first inning, 2-2, Bergman homered in her final home game when she drove the first pitch over the right-field fence to give Fallon a 7-2 lead. Fallon ended the game in the fifth inning when Vershum singled in Bergman.
Bettencourt allowed two earned runs and seven hits while striking out four.