Fallon sweeps Dust Devils in softball, baseball | NevadaAppeal.com

Fallon sweeps Dust Devils in softball, baseball

Steve Puterski
Lahontan Valley News

FALLON – The queens of the circle took center stage on Wednesday and produced what many expected, a pitching duel.

In the end, though, Fallon and pitcher Jill Pinder were able to hold off Dayton and ace Makayla Shadle, 2-0, in a 3A Lahontan League game.

Shadle leads the league and state in strikeouts with 180 after fanning 13 in the losing effort. Pinder, meanwhile, is second in the league with 101 and struck out nine.

Shadle, though, suffered control issues in several innings, including the second, when she walked three Fallon hitters to load the bases. Lady Wave centerfielder Cassie Bell slapped a single up the middle to score Cady Cordes and Shelby Lawry.

Shadle walked six hitters for the game, while Pinder allowed three.

“It was a great game,” Dayton coach Daven Passalacqua said. “There was a little bit of sloppiness. Sometimes it’s whoever breaks first. She lost a little bit of control, but we worked it out.”

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Dayton, though, had its opportunities to score but unlike Fallon, couldn’t muster the key hit. In the fourth inning, Dayton loaded the bases, but Fallon shortstop Jenny Rechel fielded a ground ball and completed the force out at home. Pinder then produced a weak grounder to first base and the inning was over.

“Quite a pitchers duel,” Fallon coach Phil Pinder said. “I though both teams were pretty solid. I also felt whoever got on the board first had a huge advantage. You’re not pressing as much.”

The battle between the two clubs, though, isn’t over, as the series moves to Dayton at 11 a.m. on Saturday for a doubleheader. Both coaches know this series carries playoff hopes.

Fallon improved to 6-0 in league, 18-3 overall and has won 16 consecutive games. Dayton, meanwhile, falls to 2-3 in league. The top two 3A teams in the league qualify for the postseason. Fernley currently is in second with a 4-2 record.

“We are going to work on key hitting,” Passalacqua said. “More of the mental aspect of the game. I feel pretty good about it actually.”

BASEBALL

Fallon edges Dayton

FALLON – Three runs on two bunts was all the scoring the Fallon baseball team needed on Wednesday.

The Greenwave scored the runs on a pair of suicide squeezes in a five-run second inning to slip past Dayton, 5-1, in the 3A Lahontan League game. Fallon pitcher Garrett Llamas went the distance, striking out six, walking three and allowing four hits.

Dust Devils pitcher Michael Dieneman threw six innings, allowed five runs – three earned – struck out three and walked three.

“I though we did OK,” Dayton coach Jay Merrell said. “We had some opportunities we had get away. Take away that one big inning and we’re right in there.”

Fallon’s big inning started after first baseman Cody Long was hit by a pitch. He moved to second on a sacrifice and scored after a Dayton error off the bat of Scott Hutchings. Nic Stenberg followed with a double to right field to move Hutchings to third, and he scored on a single by Alonzo Williams.

Stenberg was plated on a squeeze by Frank de Braga, who pushed the bunt between Dieneman and first base. Long singled to load the bases and Williams scored on a squeeze by J.J. Boyle, and de Braga crossed home on an error on the play.

“It was a great win,” Fallon coach Lester de Braga said. “It was a game we had to win, and I think the kids were loose. We looked good hitting the ball.”

Dayton, though, rebounded in third when Sam Hadley smacked a double to center over a diving de Braga. Hadley moved to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch by Llamas.

In the top of the sixth inning, Dayton’s Hunter Roberts reached on a error by Hutchings. Cole Hummel followed with a walk to give the Dust Devils runners on first and second with no outs.

Llamas, though, fought out of the jam with a strike out, a fly ball and ground out to end the threat.

“We just have to tighten up a few things,” Merrell added. “We have some specific areas to work on.”

The series , which both coaches said is crucial for playoff positioning, resumes with a doubleheader on Saturday at Dayton. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Fallon improves to 7-1 in league and is in first place, while Dayton falls to 5-2. The top two 3A teams from the league qualify for the postseason. Fernley was 2-3 in league, but has not recorded its last two league games.

Merrell, though, said he was pleased with Dieneman’s performance and the pitching in general.

“Our pitching isn’t dominant, but if we hit our spots, we can keep a good hitting team like this in check,” he added.