By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
The Del Norte High softball team may have a sterling 10-1 record this year, but head coach Jackie Heuberger said the team still needs to strive to improve if they want to do well in Big 5 Conference play.
On Monday, the squad was hard at work practicing their fielding and hitting, preparing for a Saturday doubleheader at Eureka. In the field, assistant coaches Morgan Heuberger and Delores Markussen gave instructions to the team.
On a chair holding her 4-day old daughter, Alexis, Jackie Heuberger instructed girls at the batting cages.
Heuberger, who gave birth on Thursday, said it's important for her to be with her team and does not plan to miss any time.
"I'm not going anywhere," she said, adding it's vital for the team's success to have consistency in the coaching staff. It also helps to have such a qualified and dedicated coaching staff to assist her, Heuberger added.
Her newborn joins sister Josephine, who is two-and-a-half and was also 12 days late, her mother said.
On Friday, the Warriors made up a previous rain-out game against Gold Beach on the road, winning 3-2.
While Del Norte won, inconsistent hitting, fielding and running on the basepaths is a concern for Heuberger. She said the team was down 2-1 until pulling away for the win in the seventh inning.
"We got lucky and got a clutch hit," she said.
The clutch hit came from senior Alyssa Bergquist, who hit a single up the middle to bring in two runs.
Another clutch performer was freshman Lauryn Lesnia, who hit a home run.
When she was up the previous at-bat, she struck out and said she was pleased to be able to hit one out the next time she was up.
She added she's looking forward to opening up league play on Saturday.
"I think we're doing good," Lesnia said. "We just need to talk more on the field."
Heuberger said she is working with her team to improve hitting and baserunning and to decrease errors.
"If they expect to do well in league, we can't play that way," she said.
The Warriors were supposed to play its first home game of the season on Saturday in doubleheader action against the Grants Pass, Ore., junior varsity team. The game was canceled due to rain.
Heuberger said she was pleased with the effort and focus the girls showed at practice on Monday. Also, they were having fun and were relaxed, which Heuberger said she was glad to see.