Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
By sweeping three games from Elko last week, the Fernley High School softball team earned the No. 2 seed with an 11-4 record for this weekend’s Northern 3A East League Tournament.
The Vaqueros will face Fallon, the No. 3 seed, at 9 a.m. Saturday. Fallon also finished the season 11-4, but the Vaqueros earned the No. 2 seed by winning two of the three games against the Greenwave. Fallon would have played No. 6 seeded Dayton in the first round, but Dayton is forfeiting the game.
No. 4 seed Elko will play No. 5 seed Spring Creek Friday, with the winner to face No. 1 seed Lowry Saturday at 11:30 a.m. The championship game is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday.
The Vaqueros bounced back from being swept at Lowry the previous week by winning three games from Elko, taking the first game 10-9 last Wednesday and winning both games of a doubleheader Saturday, 8-0 and 10-0.
In Wednesday’s game, the Vaqueros broke open a tight game with five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, then had to hold on as Elko scored five in the top of the seventh.
The Vaqueros led 5-4 going to the bottom of the sixth. Mackenzie DePaoli drove in an insurance run with a fielder’s choice that scored Aly Sullivan. Haeley Diehl followed with a singe to drive in another run making it 7-4. After a fielder’s choice on a ball hit by Mackenzie Viehland made it 8-4, Braelyn Birkle singed in two runs for a 10-4 lead.
Elko got those five runs back on a pair of fielder’s choices, an RBI-single, bases loaded walk and sacrifice fly, but with runners on second and third, Viehland got the last batter to fly out to right field.
DePaoli led the Fernley offense with three hits and drove in two runs, while Aschlynn Roemer had a double and a triple and drove in four runs.
In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Viehland held the Indians to two hits while the Vaqueros got all the runs they’d need in the first inning. Viehland and Diehl started the scoring with run-scoring singles, Josey Youngs was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, then Aliza Lara drove in another run with a single to make it 4-0.
The Vaqueros got a run in the second on an error to make it 5-0, the got three more runs in the fifth inning on a two-run double by DePaoli and an RBI-single by Birkle.
Birkle and Lara were each 3-for-3 and Kacie Harer went 3-for-4 for the Vaqueros, while Viehalnd struck out five with three walks.
The Vaqueros again scored four runs in the first inning of the second game, on a two- run double by Viehland, a run-scoring single by Youngs and a ground out by Starr Schennum. Harer singled in two runs in a three-run fifth inning, and Birkle doubled home two in a three-run seventh.
Birkle was 3-for-4 with three RBI, while DePaoli and Viehland were also both 3-for-4.
DePaoli did the pitching, allowing three hits with 13 strikeouts and two walks.
Photos by Michael Michaelsen, for the Fernley Reporter