The Del Norte High softball team's bats - and sophomore pitcher Colleen Markussen's arm - overwhelmed Arcata High during a road doubleheader on Saturday.
Five Warriors accrued two hits or more in the first game, which Del Norte won, 16-6, in six innings. In the second game, Markussen threw the first no-hitter of the season by a Warriors pitcher in a 7-0 victory over the Tigers.
Del Norte (8-9-1 overall, 4-2 Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League) started off the first game hot, scoring eight runs in the first inning. Warriors senior Marissa Van Dyke's three run triple and Del Norte freshman Regin Loftin's inside-the-park home run keyed the big inning, in which the Warriors sent 12 batters to the plate.
"They did really good," Del Norte coach Tom Moore said. "We finally started hitting. We got really aggressive in baserunning."
Senior Camryn Ridgley, junior Ericka Alcala and Markussen each hit an RBI single as the Warriors added four more runs in the fourth inning. Another four runs in the sixth inning led to the invocation of the mercy rule.
Though Arcata (3-13, 0-6 HDN Big 5) scored six runs off Ridgley, who pitched a complete game for Del Norte, the Tigers never chipped away at the Warriors' initial eight-run lead.
"They just came into this game fired up," Moore said of the Del Norte players. "They wanted to win. You sure can tell the difference when we're on the same page."
Loftin finished the first game 3 for 3 witha home run, a double, a single and three RBI. Alcala went 3 for 5 with three singles for Del Norte.
Van Dyke parlayed her first-inning triple into a 2-for-4 day, driving in four runs. BreAnna Moore went 2 for 4 for the Warriors, and Ridgley went 2 for 5.
In the bottom of the first inning of the second game, an Arcata batter popped up to Alcala at shortstop. Alcala dropped the ball, and the runner was safe at first base.
That baserunner was the lone blemish on an otherwise outstanding day for Markussen. The sophomore did not allow a hit or a walk while striking out eight Tigers.
"Colleen Markussen was throwin' heat," Van Dyke said.
The Del Norte offense slowly came alive as the Arcata offense failed to materialize. Sami Morrow's sacrifice fly in the second inning plated Ashton Smedley, and an RBI double from Ridgley brought Loftin home in the third inning to open the scoring.
The Warriors put the game out of reach in the seventh inning. Alcala tripled, Markussen doubled and Van Dyke and Cortney Penner singled to open the half-inning as Del Norte scored four runs to give visiting fans more to cheer for.
"We had more fans (at Arcata) than Arcata did," Moore said.
Del Norte currently stands in third place in HDN Big 5 League play, half a game behind Fortuna High (5-2) and two games behind Eureka High (6-0).
The Warriors have a shot to claim second place outright as they travel to Fortuna for a doubleheader on Friday. The first game will begin at 2 p.m.
Reach Robert Husseman at email@example.com .