Lady Wave softball seeks return to state
In her first year as head coach, Lady Wave softball coach Tammie Shemenski has the advantage of a tried and true state championship roster this season.
Fallon’s girls team has already had three scrimmages before the beginning of its season against Whittell, Reed and McQueen, and Shemenski is already seeing her players find their feet as returning state champions.
“The scrimmages went really well,” Shemenski said. “The girls just started off pretty slow in the hitting department against Whittell and so we ended up losing 4-3. But had we been given one more inning I’m confident we would’ve won that game. Against Reed, we were leading 1-0 until the last 15 minutes of the game and we ended up losing 3-1. A few errors at key moments that we shouldn’t have had errors and a girl who went for a ball that was way outside got it and took it out of the ball park.”
The Lady Wave’s first game of the season would have been this weekend at the Elk Grove tournament but, due to inclement weather, Fallon will be returning to action Friday at home against the South Tahoe Vikings at 3 p.m., followed by a double-header on Saturday with the visiting the Lady Vikings at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Shemenski is excited in particular to see her pitchers performing out of the gate, including Kayla Buckmaster, Faith Cornmesser, Alicia Blaze and possibly Miranda Ford who is currently recovering from a shoulder injury.
“Miranda is still able to play first base right now, but she still just can’t throw underhand,” Shemenski said, in the hope that Ford will rejoin her pitchers.
Cornmesser, among several players on the team from the Lady Wave basketball team, pitched in the state championship last year after being brought up from the junior varsity team for regionals and the state tournament.
“All of the pitchers did well and got us where we needed to be,” Shemenski said of last year while she was still JV head coach, “but Faith was the one who had the state winning game.”
Leading Waves infield alongside Ford are Lady Wave veteran Megan McCormick (alternating with Kalyn Huckaby) on third base along side Stacy Kalt at shortstop and both Caitlyn Welch (alternating with Hannah Frank) at second base.
“We have a great combo there right now,” Shemenski said of Kalt, Welch and Frank running the double play. “They’re a great combination up the middle, just outstanding. I think all of the girls really work well together and seem to know each others’ moves pretty well, so I expect our double plays to come out well this year. Kalt’s got a very strong arm and she’s solid at shortstop.”
In the outfield Fallon boasts a cast made up entirely of veterans including left fielder Courtney Cross (alternating with Buckmaster) center fielder Paige Thorn and Nichole Mariezcurrena (alternating with Isabella Thomas) at right field. These players along with returning catcher Ashlie Alvarez (alternating with Welch, Mariezcurrena and McCormick returning behind the mound) make up the Lady Wave.
With a week of practice before league play, Shemenski said she has been drilling and driving home hitting among other mechanics to patch up Fallon’s offense.
“If you don’t have an offense and you can’t score it doesn’t matter how good your defense is, you have to be able to get those runs going,” Shemenski said. “We do what we always do in our every day drills with muscle memory and mechanics, so we’ve been having a lot of hitting stations and in the cage hitting.”
Shemenski said she is confident with so many returning state champions by her side she has coached as they’ve moved up through JV with numerous tough teams on the horizon gunning for the Wave’s title — a solid team she is already proud of dealing with first game jitters and shaking off the cobwebs.
“Well you know Fernley has always been our rival, so that’s going to be our main one,” Shemenski said when asked about the big names to look for this season. “But I go into every game looking at any team with the knowledge that any team can beat any team on any given day. So we play one game at a time one inning at a time. I tell my girls ‘beat them every inning’ and we’ll win. I think Fernley is always gunning for us, Winnemmucca too, but every team is one to look out for. You can be beaten by any team and it can be a season changer.”