Fallon softball ends season undefeated
The Lady Wave softball team closed its undefeated season in the Northern 3A over the weekend, sweeping the Sparks Lady Railroaders.
This was the Lady Wave’s last series of the regular season, sending them to regionals as the No. 1 seed. Competition begins tomorrow in South Tahoe at 2 p.m.; at press time their opponent had yet to be announced, though Fallon coach Tammie Shemenski said it would most likely be Elko or Dayton.
The first game of Saturday’s doubleheader was a quick sweep, ending 10-0 after five innings. The first inning saw Fallon take an 8-0 lead with most of the lineup scoring. The Lady Railroaders pushed back hard, holding the Wave to one run in the second inning and a final run in the fifth.
The matinee was equally one-sided, ending 9-0. Sparks held a strong defense from the start, holding Fallon to a single run by Alexis Jarrett in the first inning. Jarrett scored again along with Jordan Beyer in the third, with Rylee Buckmaster and Lorynn Fagg scoring in the fourth. The Wave leapt ahead in the sixth inning, scoring four runs to nail the win.
Kayla Buckmaster was pitcher of record, playing all of both games and striking out a total of 11 runners. Stacy Kalt led the Wave in runs, scoring five with six RBIs.
Friday was another win, closing 14-4 after a 7-0 lead in the first inning. Sparks fought back, scoring two runs in the top of the second while holding the Wave to a single run. Fallon scored six runs in the fourth inning, 13-2. The Lady Railroaders made a final attempt to come back, scoring two runs in the fifth before a home run by Kayla Buckmaster ended the game.
Hannah Hitchcock was pitcher of record, playing the entire game and striking out six batters. Buckmaster and Beyer led the Wave in runs, each scoring three with two RBIs.
Shemenski said she felt they were still running a little flat and needed to pick things up for playoffs. She said the Wave had strong innings in the first, but tapered off the rest of the game, giving Sparks a chance to come back.
“What we need to be working on is doing that all the time, not have one big inning and then not so much the innings down the road,” Shemenski said. “We need to make sure we’re scoring every inning.”
She also noted her players’ had some issues batting and they would work on avoiding dropped balls and pop flies in practice. The coach said they stepped up to play hard when they needed to like against Winnemucca, but they sometimes relaxed too much during slower games.
“That’s one thing we’ve got to do, is come out every game, no matter who we’re facing and play like we’re playing the Winnemuccas and the Fernleys,” she said. “Play like we’re playing the state championship every time.”
Buckmaster said they worked well together this season and never gave up. She agreed there were things they needed to fix going into regionals, but was confident they would bring everything together like they have the rest of the season.
“I think we’ve come a long way since the beginning of the season,” she said. “We’re all getting closer even though the season’s coming to an end even sooner … it’s good that we’re still united as a team.”
During practices, the team has been working to bring everything together and “fine tune” their strategy.
Shemenski said the season overall went very well for the Lady Wave. She recalled players stepped up for big plays when needed, leading to important victories. She said everyone on the team had a glory moment and contributed a key play that led to a win.
The Sparks series was also senior day; between Saturday’s games, the team held a small ceremony to recognize Buckmaster as their only senior. She said it was a bittersweet day, but she knows the rest of the team will continue to do well. She is excited the team will have most of the same members returning and wants them to be the best they can going forward.
Shemenski said Buckmaster has had “an amazing journey,” going from a relatively slow first two years to being one of the No. 1 pitchers.
“She can take that as far as she wants to,” the coach said. “I think she’s going to be very successful whichever way so goes.”