Lady Wave’s first loss goes to Fernley
FERNLEY — The reason was clear why Fallon coach Tammie Shemenski said she was using the past two sweeps to prepare her team to face Fernley in their own territory.
The Lady Wave’s seventh-inning rally came up short against the Lady Vaqueros on Wednesday, and the Wave lost their first league game of the season, 5-3.
Fallon (6-1 overall and DI-A) has a chance to restore its winning streak at home this weekend against Spring Creek, Friday at 3 p.m. with a double header Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
“We’re going to take what we’ve learned,” Shemenski said of Spring Creek on the horizon, “especially from our infield. We can’t survive off of throwing errors and we cant wait until the last two innings to have our bats wake up.”
The Vaqueros (4-4-1 overall and 4-0 in DI-A) were first on the board in a big way in the top of the second inning. With Fallon’S Kayla Buckmaster on the mound suffering an off day, Fernley had two runners on base in the inning with two base hits by freshman Macie Kirk and senior Caitlin Kindred on third and second respectively.
At bat, Vaqueros junior Sarah Miller brought in both Kirk and Kindred for a two-run RBI to center field before the end of the second with Fernley up 2-0.
This was not the first time the Lady Wave has been second to score, but it was the most consecutive innings they’ve been held scoreless.
Fallon’s batters went through the top of the order after both Izzy Thomas and Courtney Cross were tagged out by the infield and Caitlyn Welch was struck out with a slider by Fernley pitcher Taelyne Phillips.
Fernley coach Diane Chapin said Phillips threw very well for seven innings only putting two runners on the entire game, which she said definitely helps when you’re not giving up free bases.
“She did, for the most part, what we asked her to do and pitched where we needed her to pitch,” Phillips said. “She did a really good job, especially when she came back after the long home-run.”
The home run in question was by Buckmaster in the bottom of the third inning over right-center fields, Fallon’s first run of the game gave the Wave an initial shot at rallying while behind 3-1.
With Fernley’s batters hitting to a sweet spot between second and center field, however, the Lady Wave’s infield couldn’t keep the Vaqueros from loading the bases.
Fernley’s Hannah Curtis brought in Miller for another run after the Wave’s Kalyn Huckaby missed a play a third base.
“I think we ran a couple of steals and we got some runners on so we could do some things,” Chapin said when asked what she felt made the difference for her team this game. “So I think it was probably getting more runners on and crucial moments like that we got quite a few lead-off batters so we could execute, and the girls stepped up and executed when we really needed them to.
Before fans could blink, the bottom of the seventh arrived with Buckmaster trying to rally her team in the Lady Wave’s last at-bat of the game, their final chance to make a comeback.
Fallon’s Megan McCormick was the first at bat with a single off of a high pitch to center, the same sweet spot which helped Fernley get ahead. The Lady Wave’s Hannah Frank hit a singl, but McCormick was tagged out at second, a runner who could have made a significant difference in the outcome.
The Lady Wave loaded the bases with Faith Cornmesser on third (running for Frank), Buckmaster on second and Thomas on first. One out turned to two, however, when Cross took the plate and hit the ball into the glove of Fernley’s second baseman.
Welch, at bat with the top of the order, drove in Cornmesser and Buckmaster with a two-run RBI to life Fallon 5-3. With two outs and two runners at third and second (Thomas and Cross), the comeback ended with Stacy Kalt at bat, hitting an easy grounder to Fernley’s first baseman to end of the game.
“Fallon’s always a good game,” Chapin said of Fallon. “They have good pitchers, they have good hitters and they’re a good challenge. They make us work in every aspect of the game so it’s always been good to face them. They keep us good and they keep us focused.”