Three days after a heartbreaking, extra-inning loss to Fortuna High, the Del Norte High softball team swept McKinleyville High in a Saturday doubleheader at Del Norte High School.
The Warriors won the first game, 6-4, and the second game, 7-1, to improve to 6-8-1 overall (2-1 Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League). The Panthers slipped to 4-12 overall (0-5 Big 5).
Del Norte head coach Tom Moore and assistant coach Rick White credited the Warriors with an improved defensive effort, after several late mistakes led to the Huskies' victory in Del Norte's league opener.
"They played small ball at the start, and all their runs came on that," White said of McKinleyville. "Once we took that away, they didn't have an answer."
Camryn Ridgley homered for the Warriors in the first game while pitching a complete game in the circle. Sammy Morrow and BreAnna Moore each had two RBI for Del Norte, and Regin Loftin had a triple.
In the second game, the Warriors played aggressive small ball, culminating in a four-run sixth inning to put the Panthers away. Colleen Markussen earned the victory for Del Norte in a complete-game effort.
"The defense finally came around" in the series, White said. "It was a turning point."
The Warriors face Eureka High on Wednesday in Eureka for a 4 p.m. game.