Loggers pull away late in key B5 showdown at McKinleyville

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Eureka pitcher Kira Morris delivers a pitch during Wednesday’s game.

The Eureka Loggers took over sole possession of first place in the Big 5 with a 5-1 win at McKinleyville on Wednesday afternoon.

The game was close throughout and tied 1-1 heading into the sixth inning, but some late errors by the home team allowed the visitors to pull away over the final two innings.

And with Eureka pitcher Kira Morris holding the Mack bats to just two hits all game, that would prove to be the difference.

The senior standout, who struck out seven, also led the way at the plate and played some strong defense, fielding seven grounders and throwing to first for the outs.

Offensively, Morris was 2-for-4 with a home run, a triple and three RBIs.

Also making an impact for Eureka, Kylee Smith had a very efficient day at the plate and finished 2-for-2 with a walk, while Mariah Napoleon and Tahlyia Curtice each was 1-for-3.

With the win, the defending league champs improved to 4-0 in the Big 5 and 7-3 overall.

Freshman McKennah Sargent pitched well for the Panthers despite the loss, which was their first in league.

Sargent threw all seven innings, allowing six hits and one walk and striking out five.

However, the Mack defense committed six errors in the game, including five in the final two innings.

“I thought McKennah did a good job in the circle,” McKinleyville head coach Shanna McCracken said. “She pitched more outs than her team made for her.”

Taya Gomes and Sargent each finished 1-for-3 for the Panthers, including a double for Gomes.

Defensively for the Panthers, Bailee Box had a nice catch in left field, while freshman Liana Stumpf continues to impress at second base while playing alongside the experienced Camryn Pinard at shortstop.

“She’s been pretty solid there for us,” McCracken said of Stumpf.

The Mack girls are now 3-1 in league and 8-2 overall.

The two teams are scheduled to close out their three-game series in a doubleheader at Washington Elementary in Eureka on Saturday.

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