By Ray Hamill — A pair of seniors who led their teams to plenty of success this spring have been rewarded for their efforts, with the H-DNL announcing the 2022 Softball All-League Teams on Tuesday.
Eureka’s McKenna Beach was named MVP of the Big 5, while Hoopa’s Savannah Colegrove was named MVP for the Little 4.
Beach, who will play at Cal Poly Humboldt next year, led the Loggers to a Big 5 and Charlie Lakin Tournament championship double, as well as a deep playoff run that saw the Eureka girls go further in the NorCals than any other local softball team.
Beach had a team-high batting average of .593 and also led the Loggers with 41 runs scored.
She was also named Big 5 MVP in basketball just three months ago.
Colegrove, meanwhile, was instrumental for the Warriors in their historic season.
The Hoopa standout was a force in the pitcher’s circle and at the plate and provided some much-needed leadership on a roster that featured just two seniors.
The Warriors lost just once in league play on the way to a Little 4 championship and would go on to win a seventh all-time North Coast Section championship.
Both Eureka and Hoopa had five all-league selections.
In addition to Beach, senior Payton Goodman, juniors Kira Morris and Maeghan Hampton and sophomore Kaitlin Giacone also were named to the Big 5 All-League First Team.
Morris enjoyed a sensational season both in the pitcher’s circle and at the plate, while Goodman and Hampton provided a strong defensive tandem at second base and shortstop, respectively, and Giacone continued to grow in stature in the outfield, while also providing some clutch hits.
For Hoopa, the all-league middle infield pairing of Tatianna Colegrove and Nae-Rew Martin provided a solid foundation for the Warriors defense and they both also had a big impact at the plate.
Fellow juniors Jewely and Diamond Bibancos were also included on the all-league team after big seasons for each.
The McKinleyville Panthers had three all-league first-team selections, each of whom played a pivotal role in their team’s success.
The Panthers were the only local team to knock off Eureka this season and went on to successfully defend the NCS crown they won in 2019.
Standout senior pitcher Raina Ausburn was named all-league, as was second baseman Camryn Pinard, who was one of the toughest outs in the Big 5, and catcher Taya Gomes, who had a big playoff run.
So too were Del Norte senior shortstop Josephine Heuberger and sophomore pitcher McKenna Curtis, along with Fortuna’s Libby Johnston and Arcata’s Sagen Sarchett.
In the Little 4, South Fork pushed Hoopa closer than any other team and placed second in the league standings.
The Cubs had three players named to the all-league team, including junior multi-sport standout Summer Contreras, as well as senior catcher Lily Carr and outstanding freshman Shawnessy Conway-O’Neill.
Another multi-sport standout, senior Emma Wilson, was named all-league for St. Bernard’s, along with junior teammate Ella Jimenez, who grew in stature in the pitcher’s circle as the season progressed and had a big playoff win.
Ferndale’s Gabby Rice rounds out the all-league selections.
2022 Honorable Mentions
Eureka — Zia Gee, Claire Maples and Mariah Napoleon
McKinleyville — Allie Egbert and Trinity Preston
Del Norte — Alexis Heuberger, Reece White and Ava O’Reilley
Fortuna — Zoe Dewberry, Kylee Fennell, Kelsie Hall and Catherine Duncan
Arcata — Taylor Appy, Corrina Cunningham, Jenna Renteria and Morgan Ford
Hoopa — Bethany Masten, Nalani Colegrove and Bella Valentine
South Fork — None
St. Bernard’s — Courteney Goodman, Hannah Finck, Kodi Meyer and Marce Davila
Ferndale — Sydney Smith, Alyssa Watkins and Karlie Powell