Eureka sophomore Maeghan Hampton capped an outstanding all-around performance with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning to clinch a 3-2 walk-off win over McKinleyville in softball on Friday evening.
The win secured a three-game series sweep of the Panthers this week, including an 8-3 win in the opening game of Friday’s doubleheader.
Kira Morris got the late rally started with a single, before advancing to second on a Sadie Hampton bunt single and then scoring on the younger Hampton sister’s base hit.
“It was a great game,” Eureka head coach Sarah Fox said.
Maeghan also had one of the defensive plays of the day at second base, making a key double play to end a McKinleyville threat in the fifth.
Alexa Morehouse pitched all seven innings for the win, her second of the week over the Panthers, while striking out five and allowing two earned runs.
Makenna Beach led the way at the plate, finishing 2-for-3 with a triple, a double, an RBI and a run, capping a big all-around day for the junior standout.
Senior Salina Socha-Wright also had a big game defensively with a lot of action in center field.
“She handled it with a lot of poise,” Fox said of Socha-Wright.
The Panthers managed four hits, including a triple by Mashell Stumpf and doubles by Allie Egbert and Taya Gomes.
Raina Ausburn took the loss in the pitcher’s circle, allowing just two earned runs on eight hits in 6.1 innings and striking out eight.
“The team really competed today and played better fundamental softball,” McKinleyville head coach Shanna McCracken said. “They have made tremendous improvements since Wednesday and we’re excited to see them continue to grow.”
Two more Eureka sophomores led the way in game one, including Kira Morris, who got the win in the circle, allowing just one earned run and striking out 11.
“She was pretty dominant,” Fox said of Morris. “She had a great game.”
Fellow sophomore Claire Maples led the way at the plate, finishing 2-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs and a run, while Beach also had two hits.
For McKinleyville, sophomore Camryn Pinard continued her impressive start to the new season with a triple.
Egbert pitched five innings in the loss, allowing seven hits and six walks and striking out six.
“Both pitchers had a lot of command today,” McCracken said. “We took better approaches at the plate, and our defense started to mesh by the end.”
Stumpf, a freshman, impressed in both games, finishing with an RBI in each.