McKinleyville

Panthers, Timberwolves split a pair of one-run games at Fort Bragg

File photo – Trinity Preston

The McKinleyville Panthers split a close-fought softball doubleheader at Fort Bragg on Friday, winning game one 2-1, before dropping game two 8-7.

Trinity Preston led the way offensively for the Mack girls, finishing with three hits over the two games, including a home run and a double in game two.

The Panthers scored two runs in the top of the third inning to take the lead in the opener and made it stick behind a solid performance by pitcher Raina Ausburn.

Ausburn allowed just one earned run in seven innings, while giving up six hits and three walks and striking out 10.

She also had a double at the plate, one of just four hits for the Panthers, with Camryn Pinard and Allie Egbert each also getting a hit.

Game two was a back-and-forth affair, with the Panthers leading early before the home team scored five runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a two-run lead.

The Panthers would tie the game again with two runs in the top of the sixth, only for the Timberwolves to answer one more time with what would be the winning score in the bottom half of the inning.

In addition to Preston’s big presence at the plate, Taya Gomes and Morgan Stubbs each also finished with two hits in the loss, while Pinard was 1-for-4 with four RBIs and Bailee Box was 1-for-3.

Ausburn took the loss in the circle in relief of Egbert, who allowed just one hit in four innings, while walking four and striking out two.

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