SOFTBALL ROUNDUP — First win for Panthers; Loggers keep rolling

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – McKinleyville’s Trinity Preston celebrates with head coach Shanna McCracken while rounding the bases after hitting a home run on Wednesday.

The Eureka Loggers won their fifth straight game to start the season at Ferndale on Wednesday, while Fortuna and McKinleyville also won.

At Ferndale, the Loggers won 14-2, with head coach Sarah Fox giving some playing time to some of the team’s younger players, many of whom stepped up for the occasion.

Sophomores Trinity Martensen, Zia Gee and Destiny Rodriquez all made their varsity debuts and had an immediate impact.

“They came in prepared and provided great support defensively and offensively,” Fox said.

Another sophomore, Kira Morris, got the start in the circle and continued to impress, striking out six of the 10 batters she faced in three innings for the win.

Martensen pitched two innings in relief, closing out the game and striking out two batters.

“I’m really proud of Trinity,” Fox said. “These were her first varsity innings and I felt like she was very composed and focused.”

And believe it or not, two other young players also had a big day at the plate.

Freshman Kaitlin GIacone finished 3-for-3 and sophomore Maeghan Hampton was 2-for-3.

Senior Salina Socha-Wright also continued her impressive start to the season, finishing 1-for-2 with an RBI.

Next up, Eureka hosts Del Norte next Wednesday, while Ferndale travels to Hoopa for a doubleheader on Saturday.

Trinity Preston looks across the infield right after making a catch at shortstop on Wednesday. She would throw to second base base to complete a double play.

McKinleyville 16, Del Norte 11

The Panthers battled back from an early deficit and then had to withstand a late rally by Del Norte to hold on for their first win of the season.

After dropping three games to Eureka last week, including losing the third on a walk-off base hit, the Mack players responded in style against the Warriors, scoring runs in all six innings in this high-scoring showdown.

They plated four runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings to take control of the game.

“Our base running was heads-up and we took advantage of some situations,” head coach Shanna McCracken said.

Trinity Preston led the way on both sides of the ball, finishing 3-for-3 with a solo home run in the bottom of the second inning.

McKinleyville pitcher Allie Egbert in action on Wednesday.

She also made some key defensive plays at shortstop, and did all of that with a broken finger.

Senior Ashley Ballew also had a big game, hitting a pair of triples and driving in six runs with some clutch at-bats.

Camryn Pinard, Mashell Stumpf, Taya Gomes, Cameron Heenan and Raina Asburn each also had a hit in the win, as the Panthers improved to 1-3.

Ausburn got the win in the pitcher’s circle, relieving starter Allie Egbert in the third inning and doing a good job closing out the game.

For Del Norte, which dropped to 2-2, junior Josephine Heuberger continued her impressive start to the new season.

Del Norte shortstop Josephine Heuberger in action on Wednesday.

Heuberger, who is one of this week’s Humboldt Sports Athletes of the Week, finished 4-for-5 at the plate with four RBIs, and also pitched the final three innings, allowing just three hits.

Freshman McKenna Curtis also had a big day at the plate, finishing with two triples and three RBIs, while Ava O’Reilley and Madison Haag each also had a pair of hits.

Molly Slayton added a double, while Alexis Heuberger rounded out a 12-hit team performance.

The two teams meet again in a doubleheader in Crescent City on Saturday.

Trinity Preston’s teammates greet her at home plate after her home run.

Del Norte pitcher McKenna Curtis

Fortuna 14, Arcata 4, 6 innings

Sophomore Libby Johnston continued her impressive start to the new season with a big performance on both sides of the the ball on Wednesday, as the Huskies won their third straight game.

Johnston got the win in the circle and also led the way at the plate with two big base hits.

The sophomore standout allowed just three earned runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out seven.

On offense, she was 2-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs.

Freshman Catherine Duncan also had a big game in the win, finishing 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, while Kelsi Hall and Lorelei Martinez each had three RBIs.

McKinleyville pitcher Raina Ausburn

Fortuna is now 3-1.

For Arcata, which dropped 1-2, Sagen Sarchett also continued to impress on both sides of the plate.

The starting catcher had a great day defensively, while also finishing 1-for-3 on offense.

Ella Day also had a good day, finishing 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

Morgan Ford took the loss in the pitcher’s circle.

McKinleyville’s Camryn Pinard completes a double play at second base on Wednesday.

“We are very very young,” Arcata head coach Teresa Stavert said. “Today our errors hurt us terribly. As a coach I see daily improvement and we will get this figured out.”

Next up, the two teams play a doubleheader at Arcata on Saturday.

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