Fallon pitching stops Spartans
LVN Editor Emeritus
Fallon pitchers Faith Cornmesser and Hanna Hitchcock teamed up in the circle for the Lady Wave softball team Wednesday to defeat visiting Spring Creek in a make-up doubleheader at the Edward Arciniega Athletic Complex.
Cornmesser and relief pitcher Shelbi Schultz combined for a two-hitter in downing the Spartans 13-0 in the first game. Fallon erupted for six runs in the bottom of the fourth inning of the second game to handle Spring Creek, 16-1.
Both teams played each other Thursday afternoon in a single game. The series, which was originally scheduled earlier this spring, was postponed because of weather. Third-place Fallon improves to 18-9 and 17-5 in the Northern 3A league, while Spring Creek drops to 9-15, 7-13. Fallon ends the season at Dayton beginning with a three-game series today, and Spring Creek plays three games at Sparks this weekend.
Cornmesser retired 12 of 13 batters she faced in the five-inning game. She allowed only one hit, a leadoff single from the Spartans’ Lexi Voegele in the second inning. The Fallon senior, who lost a one-run game to Lowry on Saturday, struck out the side in the third inning and finished the game with six.
Schultz allowed one hit, a single by Jade Conklin in the top of the fifth inning.
“It went well,” Cornmesser said. “Our team showed we had a lot of energy and having them behind me helped a lot.”
Cornmesser said she kept the ball on the outside and threw quite a few changeups because Spring Creek batters were fouling off the inside pitches.
Spring Creek may have caught Fallon hungry for a pair of wins after dropping series to Lowry and league-leading Fernley.
“We hit a lot (Tuesday),” said Fallon coach Kasey Chu. “Yesterday, the girls had more enthusiasm than I have seen in a long time. We came out swinging from every single person, all 12 girls. It helps to come together as a team and come off the bench and hit.”
The Lady Wave scored first on Spring Creek pitcher Amie Donham with Cornmesser lifting a sacrifice fly to centerfield for 1-0 Fallon lead. Fallon also added two more runs in the second inning.
Fallon’s Jordan Byers opened the inning with an infield single followed by Alexis Jarrett’s single that put runners on the corners. Shultz hit a fly ball to centerfield to drive in one run, and two batters later after Hitchcock singled, Ashley Agaman hit a sacrifice fly. The inning ended when Spring Creek’s centerfielder Nicol Southern threw out a runner at home plate.
The Wave scored a pair of runs in the third inning. A walk with the bases loaded led to a 4-0 lead for Fallon, and a passed ball allowed another run to score. Spring Creek made two outs on two force plays, but Fallon’s Allie Thompson ripped a three-run double on the first pitch to pad the lead to 8-0.
Two wild pitches in the fourth inning allowed Fallon to take an 11-0 lead that resulted in the game being called in the bottom of the fifth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.
“Fallon is everything and more than we expected,” said Spring Creek coach Craig Nelms. “Look at their record … they lost five league games this year but I didn’t think it was the same team. They are very good and do everything right. Faith is a phenomenal pitcher.”
The Spartans had two hits in the second game, but Raeann Chavez’s single with two outs in the second inning led to Spring Creek’s only run.
Hitchcock hit the first batter and then walked two to load the bases before surrendering a hit to Chavez.
Jaycee Freyensee was able to extend an infield single into a double with two outs in the first inning.
The Wave, though, took a commanding first-inning lead with eight runs. Stacy Kalt singled in two runs, and Cornmesser hit an RBI double. Caitlyn Welch and Kalt, hitting for the second time in the inning, tapped a run-producing single.
Spring Creek pitcher Shawnee Walters-haas had her strongest outing in the second inning by retiring the side, all on fly balls.
Fallon added two runs in the third inning on Kalt’s sacrifice fly and an infield error for a 10-1 lead. Hitchcock ran into a jam in the fourth inning when she walked leadoff hitter Tatum York. After a fielder’s choice, Walters-haas singled to centerfield. Chavez then flied out to centerfield, and Hailey Watson struck out on a called strike three.
The Wave added six runs in the fourth inning, causing the game to be called on the mercy rule. Fallon loaded the bases on two singles and a bunt, but an error was committed on Bella Jones’ grounder to allow a run to score.
Welch drove in a run with a single followed by RBIs from Schultz and Kalt. Beyers’ RBI single ended the scoring before umpires called the game.
“We’re young and make silly mistakes, but we didn’t make a lot of errors,” Nelms said. “I’m not disappointed as long as they’re coming out and swinging.”
Nelms, though, said the Spartans left the bases loaded three times and didn’t take advantage of those situations. He also said the lower part of the batting order hit well, but the team needs more offense from the top of the lineup.