By Bill Choy
ARCATA The Del Norte High softball team maintained its tight grip on the top of the Big 5 conference standings by downing Arcata 5-0 and 10-4 on Saturday.
The win improves the Warriors to 14-1 for the season and 5-0 in the Big 5. The Tigers are in second at 3-2.
The Warrior baseball team split its doubleheader against Arcata to improve to 8-8-1 for the season.
The Del Norte softball squad won its first game 5-0, although the team did not do as well from the plate, striking out 15 times.
"We have never struck out that much before," Warrior head coach Jackie Heuberger said. "But we found a win to win."
She said her team played great defense, making only two errors, and junior pitcher Alyssa Bergquist pitched well, which made up for the struggles at the plate.
Bergquist was dominating, not giving the Tigers much, if anything, to work with and had 10 strikeouts.
Junior Jennifer Gustafson had two runs, an RBI and a stolen base for the Warriors. Sophomore Lauryn Lesina had two RBIs and a run, while junior Jessica Morrow had a run and an RBI for the Warriors.
In the second game, the Warriors continued to pitch and play good defense, and their bats came alive as the Warriors leapt out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and Del Norte held on for the convincing win. Bergquist had another 10 strikeout game.
Sophomore Kristen Debacker had two runs and an RBI, while Gustafson had two runs and a stolen base.
Katie Rinkevicz had a run and two RBIs and Lesina had three runs and three RBIs.
Heuberger commended freshman Sarah Weiser who played at second in place of an injured Paula Rhodes. Weiser was the starting pitcher for the junior varsity team. Heuberger said she stepped in and did a good job in the field and at the plate in both games.
For the Warrior baseball team, things did not start out well in game one against the Tigers.
Arcata got on the board first with three runs in the first inning. Warrior head coach Pablo Lorenzi said his team missed three pop ups which "cost us," he said.
While the Tigers did not score again until the sixth, neither did Del Norte, as the game ended in a 10-0 defeat.
In game two, Del Norte came back, scoring three runs in the second inning.
By the bottom of the sixth, the Warriors were looking for the win and holding on to a 8-2 lead.
But the lead was almost blown as the Tigers scored four runs before Del Norte was able to get three outs and win 8-6.
"I was happy until the final inning," Lorenzi said, saying mental mistakes and questionable calls by the umpires contributed to Arcata's comeback .
But, he said, he was pleased his team was able to get a win in conference play to improve to 3-2 in the Big 5.
"We did pull the game out," Lorenzi said. "It's better that we came home with the split than having two in the hole."
Originally, both the softball an baseball squads were set to play a doubleheader against Fortuna at home on Saturday.
Due to the prom for Fortuna, the games have recently been moved to Friday at 1 p.m at Del Norte High.
Also, the softball team is set to face Hoopa today for two scrimmages. The contests begin at 2 p.m. at the high school.