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18 outs remaining in Little League championship quest

DN softball teams play for District 26 championships

 The Del Norte 11-12 Softball All-Stars play tonight in the District 26 tournament championship in Fortuna after defeating Klamath/Trinity Little League on Friday night and Redwood Empire Little League on Sunday afternoon. Courtesy of Travis Stover
The Del Norte 11-12 Softball All-Stars play tonight in the District 26 tournament championship in Fortuna after defeating Klamath/Trinity Little League on Friday night and Redwood Empire Little League on Sunday afternoon. Courtesy of Travis Stover
Del Norte softball has gone undefeated after one weekend of District 26 tournament play.

One game apiece stands between them and a coveted title.

First up: The Del Norte 9–10 Softball All-Stars. Fresh off a 17-4, four-inning shellacking of Klamath/Trinity Little League of Hoopa, Del Norte defeated Redwood Empire Little League of Eureka, 11-8, on Sunday afternoon in McKinleyville.

Tamesha Jordan, Del Norte’s pitcher in the first game of the tournament, turned in a complete game with 12 strikeouts against Redwood Empire and will start in today’s championship game, according to coach Mark Horner.

“She’s far and away one of the best pitchers in the tournament,” Horner said.

Jordan helped her own cause with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate. Shelby Horner and Ayliah Rafalowski also went 3 for 4 for Del Norte, and Lacee Coopman hit a home run to help keep Redwood Empire at bay.

“Defensively, they’re just doing what needs to happen,” Horner said. “Consistency is exactly what we’re after.

Del Norte faces the winner of Monday night’s game between McKinleyville Little League and Redwood Empire (the result of which was unavailable at press time) at 4 p.m. Either team would need to beat Del Norte twice to secure the district title.

Where Horner is concerned, his team has just started to tap into its potential.

“The girls are gelling,” Horner said. “They’re working together. That’s huge. You don’t always have girls willing to work together.”

At 6 p.m. today, the Del Norte 11–12 Softball All-Stars will take the field in Fortuna. Their opponent is either Eel River Little League of Fortuna or Redwood Empire (those two teams played Monday night; the result was unavailable at press time).

The 11–12 softball championship might be a repeat game, should Redwood Empire advance. Del Norte took down Redwood Empire by the football score of 21-14 on Sunday afternoon.

“It was going to be a pitchers’ duel, we thought, but Del Norte just wanted to hit the ball,” Del Norte coach Tim Nolan said.

The heart of Del Norte’s order proved to be just that. The No. 2-through-No. 6 hitters in the Del Norte lineup — Tvshiina Jacobs, Brook Nolan, Josey Carlson, Antonia Acala and Tayler Melton — combined to drive in 19 runs.

Jacobs excelled behind and in front of the dish. She had a single, two doubles and a triple for Del Norte at the plate; behind it, as the team’s regular catcher, she caught three Redwood Empire baserunners stealing and induced a fourth out in a rundown between third base and home plate.

“If they run on (Tvshiina) she throws them out,” Tim Nolan said.

With 30 runs scored in two games, Nolan believes his team is capable of wreaking havoc on the opposing coach’s pitching strategy.

“This team is a machine that likes to hit the ball, run and field he said.

Baseball All-Stars stay alive

The Del Norte 11–12 Baseball All-Stars face a win-or-go home situation today at 5 p.m., facing either Eel River or Klamath/Trinity in their tournament in Fortuna.

In its Sunday contest, Del Norte clawed back from a 5-0 deficit but ultimately lost to McKinleyville, 7-5, in part on account of what coach Dan Bassett referred to as “a coaching error on my part.”

The loss came on the heels of an 11-1, five-inning victory over Blue Lake-Fieldbrook Little League. Chee Shorty and Jeremy Bernal each connected on a two-run single in a six-round third inning. In the fifth inning, Anthony Slayton hit an RBI single and Ryan Janeiro hit an RBI double to help seal the victory. Carter Costello shined on the mound for Del Norte, allowing two hits while striking out seven batters.

Reach Robert Husseman at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

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