The Del Norte softball team pushed its winning streak into double digits on Wednesday with a pair of lopsided wins over St. Bernard’s, both by the 10-run rule, in Crescent City.
The Warriors kicked off the afternoon with a 10-0 victory in five innings over the Crusaders, followed by a 15-5 win in Game 2.
Throughout the first game of the day, Del Norte relied entirely on two-out rallies, scoring all 10 of their runs with two outs in the at bat.
“They had a lot of errors and we capitalized on the errors that they had, but I think we did a good job of starting to focus up a little more (with two outs),” said Del Norte head coach Pablo Lorenzi. “We need to show that same focus through all three outs, instead of just when there are two outs.”
The Warriors took advantage of a couple St. Bernard’s errors and a base hit by Shelby Horner in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead, and the Warriors never looked back.
The Warriors added another run in the third inning, three in the fourth inning and four in the fifth inning — all with two outs — to reach the 10-run limit.
Starting pitcher Allison Douglas finished the game with 10 strikeouts, despite it going just five innings. Lorenzi said Douglas debuted a brand new pitch that hasn’t been seen in games.
“The screwball was really working,” Lorenzi said. “She hasn’t been throwing it (in games) because I haven’t been really confident with it. At some point we have to throw it and see what happens, though. Things happened really well today, but we have worked on it a lot.”
In Game 2, Del Norte didn’t wait until there were two outs to get going. The Warriors came out on fire, going ahead 2-0 before St. Bernard’s recorded the first out, as Del Norte had each batter reach base safely at least once en route to a 9-0 lead.
The Warriors exploded for five more runs, all with no outs, in the third inning and pushed their lead to 15-0 with another run in the bottom of the fourth.
Antonia Alcala came in to pitch the fifth inning and picked up a pair of strikeouts while loading the bases before the Crusaders were able to break through with their first runs of the day. St. Bernard’s pushed five runs across the plate and threatened to climb back within 10 runs.
“When we got a good pitch we drove it,” Lorenzi said. “We focused more when there were runners in scoring position, which is what we want to do. They actually learned something today and they really tried to execute. Even when they fly out or ground out and score the run it is a productive out. We did those kind of things a lot better than in the first game.”
Lorenzi put Douglas back on the rubber with the bases loaded to maintain the 10-run lead and Douglas came through with her 16th strikeout of the day.
Although both games ended with a 10-run Warrior lead, Lorenzi said he thought the team played much better overall in the second game.
“Once we got going and we loosened up we started playing real softball — we ran the bases right, we hit the ball on the button, it just felt more comfortable. We have to learn how to play that way when it is a close game. We are getting there, but it is a slow process.”
Del Norte will be back in action next Thursday with a makeup game against Eureka, scheduled to start at 4 p.m. in Crescent City.