WINNEMUCCA — The Elko softball program has talent but it’s hard to overcome drama and mistakes, especially against quality opponents.
After getting blasted 18-3 by Lowry on Thursday in the first round of the Division 3A North regional tournament in four innings, the Lady Indians came out flat in Friday’s elimination game versus Fallon — producing less hits and committing more turnovers — falling behind by double digits in the first frame and seeing the season end in a 15-1 blowout.
In the top of the first, sophomore Bryleigh Cervantes notched a one-out single with a strong drive up the middle and stole second base — stranded after consecutive strikeouts.
The game essentially ended in the home half, the Lady Greenwave rattling off 10 runs.
Freshman Vernita Fillmore led off with a groundball to center field, and runners were placed on the corners after freshman Raygen Bartel reached on an error on a bunt.
Junior Lydia Bergman drove in two runs with a double to left field, and sophomore Reece Hutchings scored Bergman with a grounder to through the right side.
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Another error allowed freshman Taralynn Vershum to reach base, and sophomore Kiley Wallace loaded the bases on a fielder’s choice that did not record an out.
Freshman Dana Buckmaster crossed a pair with a base knock to right, freshman Maddison Keller driving two more across with a ball up the gut.
The Lady Indians finally recorded a strikeout against the No. 9 batter, but the top of the lineup rolled back around — Fillmore drawing a walk.
Bartel bunted and scored Keller on a play at the plate with a throw from sophomore first baseman Amaja Meza to Cervantes, opening an 8-0 lead.
An error gave Fillmore the green light to dart home, and another error on a groundball by Hutchings crossed Bartel for a 10-0 tally.
Elko got out of the marathon inning with a popup to Meza at first and a fly out to Sandoval in right.
Sophomore Ella Rainwater led off the second and reached on a throwing error and advanced to second base.
Junior courtesy runner Nikole Grover scored as freshman Elizabeth Romero reached on an error — serving as the Lady Indians’ only run in the contest — Elko running into an out on the bases and ending the frame with a strikeout and a fly out to right field.
In the home half, Fallon gained a leadoff single from Buckmaster and a two-out base knock by Fillmore but left two on with a groundout to Meza at first.
The Lady Indians went down in order in the top of the third, Fillmore striking out two.
Bergman led off the bottom of the third with a single to left field, and Hutchings followed with a fly ball to left.
Following a fly out to sophomore Candice Kley in center, Wallace drove in Bergman and Hutchings with a two-run double in the air to left — making the score 12-1 — Elko recording its second out with a 6-3 groundout from sophomore Alea Benitez to Meza.
Wallace scored on the play, the Lady Wave grabbing a 12-run lead.
Kley poked a one-out base knock to left field in the top of the fourth, but the next two hitters fell in succession.
Consecutive one-out errors in the home half allowed Bergman and Hutchings to reach, and Vershum notched an RBI groundout that drove in Bergman — Hutchings crossing on an error in the outfield on a fly ball by Wallace.
Down 14, Elko’s season ended with a one-two-three fifth — closing the year with a 15-1 loss to Fallon — outscored 33-4 in the regional tournament.
Bergman finished 2-for-3 with a double, scored three times and drove in two runs.
Keller also hit 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, Fillmore went 2-for-3 and scored twice, Hutchings was 2-for-4 and scored three runs while driving in two more and Buckmaster closed 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.
Wallace batted 1-for-4 with a double and drove in two runs and posted two of her own.
Without knocks, Bartel drove in a run and scored twice and Vershum tallied an RBI and a run.
For Elko, Cervantes and Kley each went 1-for-2 — the Lady Indians batting 2-for-18 as a team.
From her courtesy-runner role, Grover scored Elko’s only run.
In the circle, Fillmore earned the complete-game win — allowing one-unearned run on two hits with eight strikeouts and no walks over fine frames.
Rainwater took the loss, giving up 11 runs — six earned — on eight hits with two strikeouts and two walks over two innings.
In relief, senior Abagail Whitted allowed four runs (two earned) on three hits in two frames.
ELKO — 010 00 — 128
FALLON — (10)03 2X — (15)(11)2