After failing to take the state title last year, the Lady Wave is ready for redemption as they prepare to kick off the spring season with many of last year’s players back for more.
The Lady Wave softball team is playing in a pre-season tournament in California this weekend; they took on Vanden and Carson High on Thursday and face Pleasant Grove, Rodriguez and Oakmont today and Saturday. Fallon’s first league game will be March 17 in South Tahoe with their first home game coming March 28 against Fernley.
While there are several returning players, the team is fairly young and there are some new faces this year. Coach Tammie Shemenski said she brought five players up from the junior varsity team and some players came on who couldn’t play last season. Shemenski recalled some players last year weren’t able to play because of injury or other obligations.
This year’s softball team is fairly athletic and the players have proven skill. Four members of Fallon’s state champion basketball team will play as will several players from the volleyball team. Shemenski said there is also lots of speed on the team — during practices, the players quickly covered the distance between bases and they run a relay as part of the sessions.
The coach said she felt the Lady Wave would do well this year since most of the team has played together before. The players are already familiar with one another’s skills and have good relationships with each other.
“These girls have played together in other leagues since they were little,” Shemenski said. “They came up from JV playing together too.”
The main challenge so far has been getting everyone in the right frame of mind. Shemenski noted most of the players hadn’t played together in awhile and have been involved in other sports.
“We just have to get used to playing with one another, next to each other and know who’s coming across from us,” she said.
Shemenski said her players have a great relationship off the field as well. She said there is “no drama” on the team and everyone hangs out as friends outside softball-related activities.
“They all appreciate each other and they’re just good friends,” she said.
This year’s team features senior Kayla Buckmaster; juniors Maize Anderson, Jorden Byers, Faith Cornmesser, Hannah Hitchcock, Stacy Kalt, Caitlyn Welch and Lizzy Williams; and sophomores Rylee Buckmaster, Alexis Jerrett, Lorryn Fagg and Shelbi Shultz.
“I’m super-excited about this year,” Shemenski said. “I think it’s going to be a great year and hopefully I’m looking for a championship outcome.”
Last season, the Lady Wave won the regular season title and took second in regionals. During the state tournament Fallon took third, making it the first year the team was not in the 3A state championship game.