Ups, downs and outs

By Robert Husseman, The Triplicate May 31, 2013 04:40 pm

The Del Norte High softball team will graduate seven seniors — six of whom started regularly — from a squad that finished 10-13-1 overall (6-6 Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League) in 2013.
The Del Norte High softball team will graduate seven seniors — six of whom started regularly — from a squad that finished 10-13-1 overall (6-6 Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League) in 2013. Del Norte Triplicate file / Bryant Anderson
The Del Norte High sophomore team’s 10-13-1 season in 2013 was pockmarked by inconsistency. Struggles at the plate and in the field on defense became something of an identity, overshadowing strong performances elsewhere.

“It’s been rough but it’s been fun,” Warriors coach Tom Moore said. “I can’t ask for a better group of girls.”

Del Norte finished with a 6-6 Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 League record, solidly in third place among the five teams. The Warriors went 5-1 against the two teams beneath them, Arcata and McKinleyville, and 1-5 against league champion Eureka and runner-up Fortuna.

Senior Camryn Ridgley and sophomore Colleen Markussen were the team’s stars within the pitching circle and in the batter’s box. 

Ridgley was the Warriors’ ace on the season, her best performance coming in a nine-inning, 13-strikeout, complete-game shutout of Arcata in Del Norte’s season finale, a 1-0 defeat of the Tigers in nine innings. She also produced as the No. 4 player in the hitting order. 

Markussen exhibited growing pains but was reliable as the Warriors’ second pitcher. She threw a no-hitter against Arcata on April 27, a 7-0 victory, in which a single Tigers baserunner reached on an error in the first inning. Markussen also showcased some power as a batter, hitting one of two home runs for Del Norte on the season.

On a typical day, six of the Warriors’ nine starters were seniors — Ridgley pitching; Marissa Van Dyke, one of Del Norte’s most consistent hitters, at third base; Sami Morrow at second base; BreAnna Moore at first base; and Cortney Penner and Falyn Bruhy in the outfield. Rachele Whitson was the Warriors’ seventh senior player. 

Junior Ericka Alcala held down the shortstop position for Del Norte, and coaches lauded junior Kiera Davis for her defensive ability at catcher. Freshman Regin Loftin moved from the junior varsity ranks into the starting lineup as a rightfielder midway through the season.

Junior Ashton Smedley was used in utility roles and as a third starting pitcher in nonleague play. Juniors Ali Olson and Kirsten Williams, sophomore Sarah Levi and freshman Kaylen Gomes also made the Del Norte roster.

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