Huskies, Tigers split entertaining doubleheader in softball

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Fortuna’s Libby Johnston delivers a pitch during Saturday’s doubleheader at Arcata.

By Ray Hamill — Fortuna and Arcata split two games in H-DNL softball at Arcata High on Saturday, with the home team taking game one 12-4 and the Huskies responding to take the nightcap 7-5.

In an entertaining doubleheader, the Tigers got the better of the early exchanges, responding well themselves after a big loss at Fortuna on Wednesday.

Senior Balla Voltz-Broughton led the early charge, finishing 3-for-4 with a triple in the win, while sophomore pitcher Morgan Ford had a big day despite picking up an injury early.

After a collision at home plate in the opener, Ford continued to play tough, pitching both games, while also getting hit by a pitch on four separate at-bats.

“Morgan showed a lot of heart today,” Arcata head coach Teresa Stavert said. “After the tough collision at home, her knee was very hurt, yet she continued to bat and run and play. She really did it for the team today.”

The Huskies showed a lot of heart themselves, battling back from the opening loss and an early deficit in game two.

Fortuna took control of game two with four runs in the third, and stretched the advantage to six in the fifth.

Catherine Duncan got the rally started with a double, before scoring moments later on a Renee Metz double.

Morgan Ford

Arcata’s Lola Renteria steals second base.

Additional base hits by Kylee Fennell, Kelsi Hall and Mariah Smith rounded out a big inning for the visitors.

The Tigers, however, would not go down easily, with sophomore catcher Sagen Sarchett continuing her very impressive debut season at the varsity level with a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth to pull her team back within two and make for an interesting finish.

But that was as close as they could come, with Fortuna pitcher Libby Johnston every bit as impressive as her counterpart and striking out seven of the final 13 batters she faced to hold on for the win.

The Tigers, who are now 2-3 on the season, had a productive day at the plate.

“Many of my players got their first hit today and I’m very proud of them,” Stavert said. “Every  day we’re getting better and better and every day at practice they just keep working hard.”

Taylor Appy had a breakout day, finishing 4-for-7 and responding to her coach’s challenge.

“I put a lot of pressure on Taylor,” said Stavert, who moved her to first base on Saturday. “She had great games offensively and defensively.”

Stavert was pleased with the effort of all of her players.

“Considering Fortuna 10-runned us just this past Wednesday, and today we won a game and were much closer in the second game against a very tough Fortuna squad, I couldn’t be prouder of how they played today,” she said.

The Huskies are now 3-3.

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