Del Norte

SOFTBALL AWARDS — 2023 was the Year of the Warriors

Photos by Ray Hamill/ – Kira Morris in action for the Loggers this past season.

By Ray Hamill — High school softball rarely disappoints here on the North Coast, and that was the case once again this spring as several H-DNL teams enjoyed memorable seasons.

It was also the Year of the Warriors locally, with Del Norte winning the Big 5 and Hoopa claiming yet another Little 4 championship.

But while Hoopa cruised to a fourth straight league pennant with an undefeated league campaign, the Del Norte girls had to battle all the way for their title.

Trailing Eureka in the standings with just four games remaining, the Del Norte players closed out league play with four straight wins to edge their rivals for a championship that went down to the final day of action.

The Loggers, however, quickly put the disappointment of losing out in the race for the championship behind them and responded with a big Charlie Lakin Tournament.

The Eureka girls won three straight games at the Arcata Sports Complex to claim a second straight Lakin trophy, including victories over both Hoopa and Del Norte, two teams that had recently beaten them.

Six of the eight teams in the H-DNL would advance to the North Coast Section playoffs, with Del Norte faring the best and reaching a Division-4 championship game, which they lost to Cardinal Newman.

Hoopa and Fortuna served up an instant classic in their Division-4 quarterfinal, with the Huskies winning in exciting fashion on a walk-off.

It was an up-and-down spring for the Huskies, but they found their groove late in the season, putting a disappointing league campaign behind them with six wins in their final nine games and an exciting playoff run.

The McKinleyville girls also enjoyed some success this season and also stepped up late in the campaign after dropping five of six league games combined against Del Norte and Eureka.

The Panthers put together a late six-game winning streak, including an exciting 3-2 walk-off win over Hoopa in eight innings.

The St. Bernard’s Crusaders also qualified for the NCS playoffs after a competitive season that saw them place second in league play.


Kira Morris, Eureka

Tatianna Colegrove, Hoopa

The Big 5 and Little 4 MVPs were not just the best two pitchers in the H-DNL this year, but probably the best two hitters as well.

Morris, who will play at Division-II Concordia University next year, was consistently brilliant for the Loggers in the circle and at the plate, as was Colegrove for the Warriors.

Both players play the game with composure and neither ever appears to get rattled in the circle.

It won’t be easy for Hoopa or Eureka to replace these two standouts.


Ryan Colegrove


Colegrove has been one of the best softball coaches in Humboldt County for several years and consistently guides her teams to successful seasons.

She and the Warriors won a fourth straight league title this spring, and they have lost just three league games in the past six years.

They also enjoyed a memorable win over Morris and the Loggers this spring.

Under the guidance of Colegrove, Hoopa continues to set the standard in the Little 4 and beyond.


Del Norte

The Big 5 champs won the pennant in dramatic fashion, and with a little help from the Huskies, who beat Eureka late.

But when all was said and done, it was the Warriors who stepped up in the final week of the campaign to take four straight showdowns, all of which were essentially elimination games.

Head coach Jackie Heuberger and her players would go further than any other local team in the area, reaching the D-4 NCS decider and advancing to the NorCal playoffs.

All in all, it was a season the Del Norte girls won’t easily forget.

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