Fallon momentum runs down Elko
Elko Daily Free Press
ELKO — The defending state champion softball team, the Fallon Lady Greenwave, looked the part Friday in the series opener against the Lady Indians — blowing out Elko 17-2. Fallon kept their momentum, winning both games in Saturday’s double header 17-2 and 14-2 for a sweep.
After Elko (10-11 overall, 8-9 in DI-A) the Wave (13-1 overall and in DI-A) returns home to face Lowry on Friday at 3 p.m.
Fallon built a 16-0 lead after the top of the fourth inning on Friday with five runs alone in the top of the second inning, allowing two runs in the bottom of the frame, ending the top of the fifth with another run. One of the biggest achievements for Fallon on Friday, however, was Megan McCormick’s 21st homer of her high school career, breaking the Churchill County High School record. The longball was a three-run homer to right field which put the Lady Wave up 16-0 in the top of the fourth before the Lady Indians finally mounted a hit of their own in the bottom of the inning.
The Lady Indians started with a lead-off double by junior Madi Harris. Freshman Kenzie Ratliff followed with a single, and Harris stole home for Elko’s first run of the game.
Freshman Lauryn Guenin picked up an RBI on a groundout, driving in Ratliff for the Lady Indians’ final run of the contest.
Fallon’s Courtney Cross led the top of the fifth inning with a single, scoring after a single by senior Alicia Baze.
Fallon virtually limited the one-sided affair to a 17-2 victory — actually picking up outs on purpose after getting on base with hits — stepping off the bag and taking the automatic trip back to the dugout to alleviate the lopsided score and move the game along more quickly.
Harris led Elko with a double, and Ratliff recorded the only other Elko hit — a single. Each scored one of Elko’s two runs.
Guenin posted the only RBI for the Lady Indians.
Fallon outhit the Lady Indians 16-2, nearly matching the score. The Lady Greenwave committed two errors, and Elko nearly had to add another digit to the column with eight errors.
Including hitting the ball like a state-champion team –— the Lady Greenwave benefited from Elko’s mistakes as only nine of Fallon’s 17 runs were earned.
McCormick led the Lady Greenwave with four RBIs, four coming on her home run. Thomas and Buckmaster each finished with two RBIs.
Cornmesser tossed a complete game for Fallon, allowing just two runs (one earned) on two hits over five innings. She struck eight batters, never allowing a walk.
“We just did not compete today. It’s hard to win when girls don’t want to show up. We played scared,” said Elko coach Karen Hoem. “We have to show some fight. Hopefully, we will see some improvement in the final two games.”
The second game of the series was not a far cry from the first, though the Lady Indians’ infield held Fallon scoreless for the first three innings after drawing first blood themselves with two runs in the first inning by Guenin and Miranda Quintana.
Fallon made its next two at bats count, scoring seven runs in the fourth and fifth innings which included long balls by Stacy Kalt and Cornmesser.
Lady Wave coach Tammie Shemenski said Fallon’s bats are coming around, but she believes there is still more to come.
“It’s a great feeling for the girls who put it over the fence,” Shemenski said in response to the homers and to McCormick’s new record. “I’m excited for any player that belts one over. Our team is working hard at practice and I feel we will continue to have strong bats. Every game we get stronger and continue to ramp up.”
Baze pitched the third and final game of the series for Fallon, keeping the Lady Indians to a minimal eight runs, despite a homer by Lexi Freitag, recording six strikeouts. Paige Thorn concluded the series of long balls for Fallon, scoring the team’s last home run of the weekend.
“Baze threw the third game and we put the runs on the board behind her,” Shemenski said of her pitcher and the series. “She threw well and the team played well behind her. Wins secure our spot for regional placement and are always great. We continue to take one game at a time and go with the mindet to beat the opponent every inning.”
With the Lady Bucks next on the Wave’s list, Shemenski said her team has been ramping up practice and hitting stations with lots of reps.
“Quality swings to perfect mechanics,” she said. “Lots of reps in the field and on the tee. Our bats prove to come through consistently. Our strong and tight field paired with our strong pitchers continues to keep us successful, and I expect that to happen every team we face and in every game we play.”
Sports Editor Mike Sciandra contributed to this story.