FALLON — It started well for the South Tahoe softball, then the Fallon offense got rolling.
The Vikings were humbled by Fallon, 11-1 and 17-0, in the Northern Division I-A play-in round on Friday.
The Lady Wave advance to next week’s Northern DI-A regional tournament in Winnemucca.
South Tahoe started strong in the first game, trailing 5-1 after the top of the fourth inning. Hannah Neiger recorded an RBI fielder’s choice, which sliced the Fallon lead to four.
An inning and a half later, however, the Lady Wave slapped six runs on the board to mercy rule South Tahoe. The second game was all Fallon from the opening pitch as the Lady Wave kept their dream of a third consecutive state title alive.
“I said it before, we’re not looking past anybody,” Fallon coach Bill Archer said. “South Tahoe is the first step and they showed up. The kids adjusted early to their pitching and got some key hits.”
Fallon was led by junior Rileigh Ricken and freshman Miranda Ford in the circle. The two combined to allow just one run in 10 innings and kept an improved South Tahoe squad from mounting any serious threats.
Ricken also caused havoc at the plate with a two-run double and an RBI single in the first game to give Fallon a 3-0 lead. Senior firstbaseman Cady Cordes followed Ricken’s lead with a two-run single to push the Lady Wave’s lead to 5-0.
South Tahoe, though, battled as the Vikings scratched across a run in the top of the fourth inning. Neiger was solid in the circle, but too many defensive mistakes crippled South Tahoe.
Neiger kept the potent Fallon offense at bay through the first four innings, but several breakdowns in the fifth inning lead to six runs and a Fallon win.
“The first game we came out with a lot of energy and played tough,” South Tahoe coach Steve Kolesnik said. “It was probably one of our best starts all season. The 11-1 score wasn’t indicative of how we played. It should have been a lot closer than that.”