Del Norte Little League received two District 26 championship banners over the past two days, courtesy of its All-Star softball teams.
The 11andndash;12 Softball All-Stars took down Eel River Little League of Fortuna, 6-4, on Tuesday night in Fortuna. Del Norte centerfielder Rachel Higgins made a backhanded catch for the final out, sealing the victory.
"It was just a battle to produce a run each inning," coach Tim Nolan said. "This was a pitchers' duel. The bats weren't singing. But we got on base and stole like crazy."
Del Norte finished with a perfect 3-0 record in the double-elimination tournament. Brook Nolan started all three games for the 11andndash;12 All-Stars, going the distance in the championship game.
"The staff (assistant coaches Travis Stover and Aaron Healy) worked
hard," Nolan said. "The fans being there helped us ... a big thank-you
to the parents and loyal Del Norte fans."
Team members include Nolan, Antonia Acala, Chloe Luna, Jacobi Cox,
Josey Carlson, Tvshiina Jacobs, Caitlyn Herrera, Higgins, Payten Healy,
Hannah Baldwin, Tayler Melton and Kallie Roth. The 11andndash;12 All-Stars will
continue their season at a regional tournament in Martinez on Saturday.
The 9andndash;10 All-Stars were crowned District 26 champions after their
opponents, Redwood Empire Little League of Eureka, were deemed
ineligible for using players from Eureka Little League on a combined
"(District 26's governors) allowed them to be in this tournament just
to show how crooked they are," said Del Norte Little League President
Sean Harper. "People down here chose to keep us in the dark. Supposedly
everyone had been made aware of this three weeks ago. Nobody ever told
Del Norte. I'm livid."
Del Norte's only loss in the district tournament came against the
Redwood Empire team on Tuesday night, a 16-5, five-inning defeat. The
teams played a game on Wednesday afternoon (Redwood Empire won, 20-12,
in McKinleyville) that did not end up counting.
"I'm super proud of our girls," 9andndash;10 All-Stars coach Mark Horner
said. "They've worked hard and played hard. We should've been able to
win (the championship on the field). For the girls to get cheated out of
that is sort of frustrating. I feel bad for McKinleyville. They were
beaten out by Redwood Empire (to get to the championship game)."
Team members include Shelby Horner, Lacee Coopman, McKenzie
Fernandez, Allison Douglas, Tamesha Jordan, Megan Proctor, Hailey
Stover, Hailey Price, Ayliah Rafalowski, Amaris Folkins and Addy
Tiffany. The 9andndash;10 All-Stars will continue their season at a regional
tournament in West Sacramento on Saturday.
The 9andndash;10 All-Stars are hosting a car wash fundraiser for their trip
to regionals today at 10 a.m. in the Pizza Hut parking lot.
Baseball teams knocked out
The Del Norte 11andshy;andndash;12 Baseball All-Stars took fifth place out of 11
teams in their District 26 tournament in Fortuna this week, going 2-2 in
Del Norte was eliminated by Eel River in an 11-2 defeat on Tuesday
night, scoring its only runs in the top of the first inning. Johnnie
Rafalowski singled in a run with the bases loaded, and Trent Bruschi
walked in another run.
Eel River scored two runs in the first inning and six runs in the
second inning, keeping Del Norte at bay for the rest of the game.
Ryan Janeiro and Rafalowski each singled twice for Del Norte.
Cole Harper, Carter Costello and Janeiro represented Del Norte on the
all-tournament team, as voted on by the all-star coaches. Costello
allowed one unearned run and struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings pitched
and batted .333 (4-12) for the tournament. Harper hit .500 (6-12) for
Del Norte, while Janeiro hit .450 (5-11) in Del Norte's four games.
The Del Norte 10andndash;11 Baseball All-Stars went 0-2 in their District 26
tournament, held in Arcata.
Del Norte lost its first game to Redwood Empire, 13-0, on Sunday.
"They were an excellent group of hitting kids," coach Byron Gardner
said. "There was nothing we could do. We were throwing strikes."
On Monday, the Del Norte All-Stars fell to McKinleyville, 10-3.
Gardner was complimentary of Jorge Landeros - "he played a phenomenal
game on defense" - and Collin Mattz.
"He had a good day catching and hitting," Gardner said of Mattz.
Reach Robert Husseman at email@example.com.