Fortuna girls edge Arcata in entertaining Big 5 showdown

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Libby Johnston delivers a pitch at Arcata on Wednesday.

The Fortuna Huskies held on late to edge the Arcata Tigers 5-4  in Big 5 softball at Arcata High on Wednesday afternoon.

A Sagen Sarchett home run to left field in the bottom of the seventh inning pulled the home team within one, but Fortuna pitcher Libby Johnston capped a big day in the circle by inducing and fielding a ground ball on a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded for the final out of the game.

The win was the first in league play for the Huskies, who improved to 1-3 in the Big 5 and 10-4 overall, while the Tigers dropped to 0-1 in the Big 5 and 3-3 overall.

Johnston continued her impressive season with another strong outing, allowing just six hits in seven innings in what was a back-and-forth and entertaining game.

The Tigers overcame an early two-run deficit to tie the game when Lilly Cunningham drove in two runs on a base hit, and the home team took the lead in the third inning on a Corrina Cunningham triple.

The Huskies, however, re-took the lead with two runs in the fifth.

Kelsi Hall had two hits in the win, as well as an RBI and two runs, while teammate Zoe Dewberry had a double and drove in four runs.

Faith Helms also doubled for Fortuna, while Kylee Fennell, Mariah Smith and Myra Hayes each also had a base hit.

Morgan Ford pitched well for Arcata, allowing just three earned runs in seven strong innings.

Arcata head coach Steve Sarchett said mistakes cost his team in the league opener.

“The bottom line to today’s game was we beat ourselves,” he said. “Fortuna may have won the game, but we made a few mistakes early that cost us.”

The Tigers will get a chance to bounce back and make amends when they travel to Fortuna for a doubleheader on Saturday to close out the three-game series.

First pitch is set for 11 a.m.

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