By Ray Hamill — McKinleyville and Arcata lead the way in the Big 5 in both baseball and softball after week one, and both those schools are well represented in this week’s Humboldt Sports Athletes and Team of the Week.
In baseball, Arcata senior Jaden Gorge has played a pivotal role on a Tigers team that is unbeaten on the season at 13-0 and off to a flying start in the Big 5.
Likewise with McKinleyville senior McKenzie Gonsalves, who also has helped her team to an unbeaten start in softball and was instrumental in a dominating weekend in league play.
Perhaps the biggest surprise this season has been the Arcata Tigers in softball, where they are matching the Panthers stride for stride and expected to challenge for the league crown.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
McKinleyville Softball, Senior
Gonsalves was nothing short of spectacular over the weekend, leading the Panthers to four league wins in four days, including three shutouts.
She pitched 19 innings over the four games, giving up just two runs, while finishing 4-for-4 with six RBIs at the plate in Friday’s 10-0 win over Del Norte in their league opener.
For more on Gonsalves’ big weekend, see Gonsalves, Panthers open Big 5 in style …
Arcata Baseball, Senior
Gorge has been part a potent one-two pitching punch for the Tigers, along with Merick Sears, and continued that on Saturday, while making some serious noise at the plate.
Gorge pitched the win for the Tigers in the second game of a doubleheader against Fortuna, while also finishing 7-for-7 on offense.
For more on Gorge’s big weekend, see Tigers, Panthers remain on collision course …
TEAM OF THE WEEK
The Arcata girls have been more than just a pleasant surprise this season. They look like legitimate league contenders.
And that’s a impressive turnaround for a program that has struggled in recent years.
The Tigers are 9-1 and have now won eight straight, sweeping league rivals Fortuna last week to go to 3-0 in the Big 5.
For more on Arcata’s big weekend, see Bernald, Tigers continue to roll, win eighth straight …