By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
The first home game of the season for the Del Norte High softball team was one to remember, as the Warriors rolled to a 10-2 win against Fortuna Wednesday afternoon.
The victory improves the team to 13-2 for the year and 3-1 in Big 5 Conference play.
"They played really well," coach Jackie Heuberger said. "It's nice to play at your home field and win."
In the top of the first inning, pitcher McKinnze Holden started the game in the right direction by earning two strikeouts.
In the bottom of the inning, with one player on-base, Michelle Stacey got the large and enthusiastic crowd on its feet with one mighty swing of her bat for a home run to give the Warriors a 2-0 lead. Stacey was giddy with joy as she crossed the bases and was embraced by her teammates as she came home. Stacey went 2-for-4 for the game.
Up 3-1 in the fourth, the Warriors scored four runs to pad the lead 7-2, as the squad did a nice job hitting and bunting the ball. In the sixth, the Warriors scored three more runs to secure the win.
In the field, which has been a weakness at times this year, the girls were quite solid, making only four errors in the contest, compared to 10 during the last game against Arcata.
The girls hustled for balls, making sharp throws and being aware of where the ball was.
In the sixth, Paula Rhodes, who was playing second base, had a sharp line drive come her way.
She made a nifty backhanded grab and threw the runner out at first. Heuberger said she and her fellow coaches have been emphasizing improvement in the field at practice and was pleased to see it come to fruition during a game.
As has been the case all season, the pitching was dominating. While Holden pitched a strong game Wednesday, fellow pitcher Alyssa Bergquist has also performed strongly. The duo have formed a formidable pitching combo this year.
Heuberger said it's nice to know as a coach that a team's pitchers can be constantly relied on to perform well. Holden also had a strong performance with her bat, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and three runs. Jennifer Gustafson went 2-for-3 with 3 RBI's.
The Warriors next play on Saturday in doubleheader action against McKinleyville on the road. The first game is set for 11 a.m.