By Bill Choy
Triplicate Sports Editor
A terrific season ended in extra innings for Del Norte High Thursday evening, as the Warriors lost 2-0 in eight innings to Drake High in North Coast Section playoff action.
In front of the home fans, who came out in force to cheer the team on, the Warriors softball squad battled through seven scoreless innings, which had the fans wondering who would be able to score first.
The answer was not the one the Warrior faithful wanted, when in the top of the eighth, Drake scored two runs.
Del Norte could not come back in the bottom of the inning and ended the year with a sterling 21-4 mark.
"I'm really happy with our season," head coach Jackie Heuberger said, adding a 21-4 mark is nothing to scoff at. "It's an outstanding record, although I'm sad to see it (the season) end."
She added she was extremely proud of how hard her team played throughout the game, complimenting them on great defensive plays and pitching.
In the end, it came down to being unable to gets hits with the team only able to get four hits off Drake pitcher Renee Chapman.
"They're a good team," Heuberger said.
Del Norte was the No. 3 seed, and the Pirates, from Marin County, the No 2. seed in the NCS 2-A Redwood Empire Division playoffs.
Drake, which is 16-10 for the season, will play for the championship on Saturday.
Del Norte pitcher Alyssa Bergquist had a strong game, getting six strikeouts and giving up only six hits.
Through seven innings, both teams battled hard, not giving each other much to work with.
Both pitchers were able to keep the other team off-balance for the most part, getting a combination of pop-ups, groundouts, line drives and strikeouts.
The Warriors had a few chances to score, but could not get a run. In the bottom of the seventh, Jennifer Gustafson was at third base with two outs, but in the end, the squad could not bring her home.
In the top of the eighth, the Pirates finally broke through when Chapman, the pitcher, helped her own cause by hitting a double to bring in two runners.
Pirates head coach Melissa Kirby commended the Warriors for the tremendous game they played.
"It was just a great game by both teams," she said. "They are a very good team."
She added she was pleased with the way her team was able to hang tough and come up with a way to get two runners on base and then bring them home in the eighth. Kirby said her squad is a veteran team with nine seniors, which she said helped in crunch time.
Del Norte, on the other hand, will still bring back six starters from this year's team. Heuberger said this bodes well for next year.