No one can accuse the Eureka Loggers of going down without a fight in Thursday’s NorCal playoff game.
The Eureka girls fell 9-8 at Monterey High in the Division-4 softball semifinals, battling back late to pull within one run and push the No. 2 seeds in the bracket all the way.
The loss ends an incredible season for the Loggers, who won 27 games and lost just three times, all of them by just one run.
Junior Kira Morris was outstanding once again on Thursday, hitting three home runs and driving in all but one of her team’s runs.
She was intentionally walked in her fourth at-bat in the seventh inning despite representing the tying run.
The junior standout also had an impressive day in the circle, allowing just five hits and striking out eight, and battling a questionable strike zone, according to head coach Robin Johnson.
“She definitely overcame adversity with that umpire,” Johnson said.
Morris got things started with a bang when she hit a three-run home run in the top of the first, but the home team responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning.
After Morris added a second home run in the third, the Monterey girls opened up a 9-5 lead going into the fifth.
The Eureka girls, however, battled back with two runs in the top of the fifth on yet another Morris home run, and they would pull within one in the seventh when Claire Maples drove in Payton Goodman, who had led off the inning with a base hit.
“I thought they played great,” Johnson said of her players. “We battled back.
“Kira definitely kept us in the game. And (McKenna) Beach too.”
Beach had a big day in her final high school game.
The consistent senior standout, who will play at Cal Poly Humboldt next year, finished 3-for-4 and was on base for all three of Morris’ home runs.
The Loggers, who will lose only two seniors — Beach and Goodman — should be a force once again next season when they set out to defend their Big 5 and Charlie Lakin Tournament championships.