By Ray Hamill — The Eureka Loggers are off to a 3-0 start in softball this spring, and that’s only the second most impressive thing about this team.
With a nice blend of experienced upperclassmen and young talent, the Loggers appear to be the team to beat in the Big 5, but more than that they are building a winning culture, both on and off the field.
And for head coach Sarah Fox and her players, the wins are not the most important thing.
“We have worked really hard over the last couple of years creating a culture and setting our purpose,” Fox said after Friday’s doubleheader sweep of McKinleyville. “Our team’s three core values are trying their best, doing the right thing, and showing that we care about each other.”
It’s a purpose that has clearly rubbed off on the players.
“The girls are laser focused on making sure we play with that purpose,” the head coach added.
Leading the way on this year’s team are seniors Alexa Morehouse, Sadie Hampton, Wyatt Thurston and Salina Socha-Wright, all of whom have impressed early in the season.
Morehouse pitched two of the team’s three wins over McKinleyville this week, while the ever-consistent Hampton is the team’s lead-off batter and starting shortstop.
Socha-Wright, meanwhile, was a rock in center field on Friday, handling a busy day “with poise,” according to her coach, and Thurston has been solid at third base and in the lineup.
Junior Makenna Beach is also expected to be a force in the heart of the lineup and also has been impressing early in the season.
But those players are not alone in setting an example on the field and in the dugout, with a dynamic sophomore class already making a lot of noise, including the likes of Claire Maples, Kira Morris, Kaitlin Giacone and Maeghan Hampton.
The Eureka girls swept the Panthers on Friday, winning 8-3 and 3-2, with the second victory coming on a walk-off RBI base hit from Maeghan Hampton.
The Eureka girls will be back in action at Ferndale on Wednesday.