By Ray Hamill — A former Logger and a current Crusader are coming off big weeks on the softball and baseball fields, respectively, and that earns them our Athletes of the Week honors.
Sydney Arnold, who graduated Eureka in 2017, is enjoying a big second season at Santa Rosa JC and was instrumental in leading her team to three wins in four games on Friday and Saturday.
St. Bernard’s senior Caleb Ruiz, meanwhile, has been the area’s most impressive high school pitcher through the early season, and played a key role in helping his team get off to a winning start in the Little 4 a week ago.
Rounding out this week’s list of honors, the McKinleyville baseball team is also off to an impressive start this season, winning the Fort Bragg tournament over the weekend and earning our Team of the Week honors.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
St. Bernard’s Baseball, Senior
Ruiz struck out 19 batters in just under seven innings work last week, to lead his team to a 1-0 win over Ferndale in both teams’ league opener.
Ruiz has been everything advertised this season, and, according to his coach Matt Tomlin, is reaping the rewards of an offseason of hard work.
In his first two starts this year, the standout senior has been pretty much untouchable, tossing 11.2 scoreless innings.
For more on Ruiz’s big week, see Hard-working Ruiz wins thrilling pitchers’ duel …
Santa Rosa Softball, Sophomore
Arnold exploded at the plate over the weekend, leading the Bear Cubs to three wins in four games on Friday and Saturday.
The former Eureka Logger was 8-for-15 in those four games, with five of those hits going for extra bases, including three home runs, one each in three different games.
She also had a pair of doubles, nine RBIs and nine runs scored.
For the season, Arnold is batting .339 for the 7-13 Bear Cubs, with seven home runs and 20 RBIs.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
The senior-heavy Panthers are living up to expectations so far this season, as they gear up for a Big 5 challenge.
On Saturday, the Mack boys improved to 5-0 with their third win in two days on the way to clinching the Fort Bragg tournament.
At the tournament, they got the better of Clear Lake, Esparto and Fort Bragg by a combined score of 32-11, including a hard-fought 5-4 win over the host school in the championship game.
The Panthers travel to play at El Molino and Willits this weekend.