Del Norte

McKinleyville girls rally late, take two from Del Norte

Photos by Ray Hamill/

The McKinleyville Panthers battled back from a seven-run deficit in game one on Friday, on their way to sweeping a Big 5 softball doubleheader at home to Del Norte in windy conditions.

The Mack girls scored six times in the bottom of the sixth inning on the way to pulling out a thrilling 10-8 win, and they carried that momentum into game two, opening up a big early lead and holding on to win 7-4.

“I’m very proud of the fight the girls showed today,” head coach Shanna McCracken said. “All three of my pitchers threw and we came away with two whole-team wins. They made adjustments at the plate and played with a lot of heart.”

With the two wins, the Panthers improved to 3-3 in the Big 5 and 8-4 overall, while the Warriors, who had defeated Mack earlier in the week, suffered their first league losses and are now 4-2 and 11-5.

Taya Gomes had a big day for Mack, finishing with three hits, including a double, and driving in five runs.

Freshman Bailee Box continued to impress and also had three hits over the two games, including a double in game two, while Camryn Pinard added three hits, including a triple in game two.

Mashell Stumpf got the win in the pitcher’s circle in the opener, throwing one hitless inning in relief of starter Allie Egbert.

Errors plagued both teams in the windy conditions, especially the Warriors, who had nine in each game.

McKenna Curtis pitched well for Del Norte, striking out 11 over the two games, which freshman Shay Nolan getting the loss in relief in the opener.

“Curtis is a tough pitcher and threw the ball well and Del Norte played hard until the end,” McCracken said.

Trinity Preston had a double and drove in two runs for McKinleyville in the opener, while Rebecca Barnett also doubled and Stumpf also drove in two runs.

Egbert added a triple and two RBIs in the second game, with Raina Ausburn getting the win in the circle, giving up just one earned run on five hits and two walks in seven innings and striking out seven.

Her offense gave her an early cushion, with six unanswered runs in the first two innings.

Alexis Heuberger had a pair of hits in both games for the Warriors, while the ever-consistent Josephine Heuberger had another good day and finished with three hits and also scored twice in the opener.

Curtis added a pair of hits and a walk in game one, while Reece White finished 2-for-3 in game two.

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