Bucks rise and fall to Lady Wave home runs
Nobody can say home runs didn’t make a difference in the Lady Wave softball team’s series against the Lowry Lady Bucks.
Though Fallon clinched its last home series of the season between a 13-8 victory Friday and a 12-5 win in Saturday’s first game, Lowry won the last game of Saturday’s double header 6-5.
Lowry (14-6 overall, 14-4 in DI-A) left Fallon (15-2 overall and in DI-A) in good shape for the series at Dayton beginning Friday at 3 p.m. followed by a doubleheader Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Fallon head coach Tammie Shemenski said Lowry came up with some hits that fell in and were able to generate the runs which helped the Lady Bucks prevent a series sweep.
“We hit the ball right to them and didn’t generate runs,” Shemenski said of the last game. “You have to generate runs to win games and we fell short of that the last game of the series. That’s softball. We will see them again during playoffs.”
Lowry assistant coach Austin Mayo said the team was happy they escaped with one win since Fallon is one of the top teams.
“I would’ve liked to come away with another,” Mayo said. “Still, we competed in every single game. We made a statement and we made them play.”
One of the key differences in Friday’s competition, which would also be seen throughout the rest of the weekend, was a startling number of consecutive home runs for each team.
Fallon’s Paige Thorn had a two-run homer which brought in Megan McCormick and lifted the Wave to a 3-3 tie before Kalyn Huckaby hit a two-run homer of her own to bring in Izzy Thomas for a 5-3 lead.
Two innings later McCormick’s sacrifice steal brought in Fallon’s Kayla Buckmaster for a 6-3 lead as the Wave tried to cement the lead.
Lowry’s Sydney Connors, however, closed in on that lead with a two-run long ball of her own to trail at 6-5. Not two batters later, LKyllie Sappington knocked a two-run homer to put the Lady Bucks ahead, 7-6.
The Lady Wave’s own home runs would make a difference in their comeback.
In the sixth inning, Thorn knocked another long ball to center field, followed by McCormick who hit her first homer of the weekend. Once the Wave regained the lead, Lowry’s pitchers appeared exhausted with their wild pitches. Fallon cruised to a 13-8 lead despite one last game-ending homer by Lowry’s Alyssa Kuskie.
“We have always had strong bats,” Shemenski said of Fallon’s batting. “Now we just need to work on being consistent with them every game, every inning, every opponent.”
Kuskie took the mound for the Lady Bucks in the second game on Saturday and faced just as much trouble, though she held Fallon scoreless for the first two innings, Fallon pitcher Faith Cornmesser managed the same.
The Lady Wave was first on the board with a run, a sacrifice bunt by Thomas that scored Miranda Ford.
Two Wave runs later, Lowry’s Caitlyn Cooper scored her first and last home run of the weekend, leaving Lowry behind 3-1 until Huckaby drilled her second two-run homer of the weekend to bring in Fallon’s Caitlyn Welch for a 5-1 lead.
McCormick hit her second long ball of the weekend over the scoreboard to bolster Fallon’s at 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth.
Lowry made an impressive comeback with a ground out RBI that brought in by Alanna Miller, a one-run RBI by Mackenna Jones which brought in Bailey Sapien and a two-run RBI by Barren which scored Jones Connors for four runs in the top of the sixth.
Unfortunately, the Wave showed they were nowhere near done with the long balls against Kuskie in the bottom of the sixth.
Welch was first with her first home run of the weekend, a two-run blast scoring Ford, but this was nowhere near the hit to end them all. This belonged to Fallon’s Stacy Kalt, who spelled the end for Lowry with a grand, bringing the Lady Wave to their 12-5 victory.
Jones pitched for Lowry in the third game of the series where fortune began to turn in her team’s favor. The teams mimicked each other in scoring during the first two innings. Jones held Fallon scoreless the first inning, while Fallon pitcher Alicia Baze did the same to Lowry.
The second inning ended with a 3-3 tie. Sappington walked home for the first run, followed by a two-run RBI plating Miller and Amaya Hererra for a 3-0 lead.
The Lady Wave caught up swiftly in the bottom of the second, starting with Cornmesser’s first home run over the scoreboard, followed by Thomas knocking in Courtney Cross and Welch for a two-run RBI which tied the game.
Buckmaster took over for Baze on the mound in the fifth inning after Sappington knocked her second and last long ball of the weekend. Lowry still squeezed in two more runs including an RBI by Kuskie for a 6-3 lead in the fifth.
Jones pitched a solid three innings, holding Fallon to two runs in the sixth and closing out the bottom of the second with impressive strikeouts against Buckmaster, Thorn and others. The Lowry infield finished off Fallon after two pop flies and a grounder to clinch the victory for the Lady Bucks, 6-5.
“I think her best inning was the last when she had to come out.” Mayo said of Jones. “We had a one run lead against the heart of their lineup; she came up coaxed two pop ups and an easy ground ball … that was huge.”