After struggling to get hits with runners on base in its season-opening tournament in Anderson, the Del Norte bats went ballistic on Tuesday in Brookings, nearly doubling their combined offensive output from the first four games, as the Warriors pounded the Bruins 18-1 in a five inning game shortened by the 10-run mercy rule.
The Warriors finished with a total of 14 hits against Brookings-Harbor, including three home runs, while also drawing four walks in the game.
The game was originally scheduled to be played last week but was rained out and was rescheduled twice before Del Norte and Brookings were finally able to get their game held in Oregon on Tuesday.
“We needed to come out and play,” Del Norte head coach Pablo Lorenzi said. “There are things that you can do in practice, but it never really simulates a game situation. That’s what today was all about, and we actually had some kids get extended on balls and hit balls out.”
The Bruins pitchers didn’t have quite the same velocity or command as some of the hurlers the Warriors faced in Anderson last weekend, but Lorenzi said his team started to show some of the fundamentals of a good offense against Brookings.
“The pitching wasn’t as good, but at least we were sitting back and being on pitches. That was the important thing,” Lorenzi said. “We were just trying to do the basic things right, and playing at the level that we should be playing at no matter who we play. We are just trying to do the right things, and try to be more consistent doing them. I thought today we had a lot of improvement as far as trying to be consistent. We were able to hit the ball up the middle, we didn’t go out of our zone on two-strike swings — we hit some line drives right at people, but that is OK. I can deal with that.”
Del Norte took control of the game in Brookings almost immediately, as three of the Warriors’ first four batters reached base safely on two errors and a walk to load the bases. Junior Maddy Burchell quickly cleared the bases in the next at bat with a grand slam to put the Warriors ahead 4-0 with just one out. Del Norte would go on to record two more hits and two more walks to push its lead to 8-0 by the end of the inning.
The Warriors continued their offensive assault in the second inning, leading off with back-to-back singles by Tvshiina Jacobs and Burchell before Antonia Alcala smacked her first high school home run to push the lead to 11-0.
The Warriors were retired in order in the third inning, as Brookings finally got on the board with a run to cut the lead back to 10 runs, but Del Norte had another big inning in the fourth.
The Warriors racked up six more base hits in the fourth inning, including a home run by Payten Healy — the third round tripper of the game for Del Norte.
“The fence is short, but it is still a good feeling for the kids,” Lorenzi said of the Warriors’ surge in power on Tuesday. “They feel like they’ve extended, and a couple kids have made some good adjustments. That is what it is all about right now. I could care less what the score is.”
Lorenzi said he thought his defense made a few more mental errors in the field on Tuesday, but there were no physical errors committed in the five-inning game.
The Warriors also had the opportunity to get every player on its bench into the game. Alcala, who started the game in the outfield, got her first opportunity to pitch for the Warriors in the fifth inning. With a 17-run lead, Alcala wasn’t in line to pick up a save, but she tallied two strikeouts, and forced a ground out to close out the game for the Warriors.
Del Norte starting pitcher Allison Douglas threw every single pitch for the Warriors last season.
“I got to put Toni on the mound. That was a good deal for us,” Lorenzi said. “She did really well.”
Del Norte will be back in action on Friday with a trip to Eureka to take on St. Bernard’s. The first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.
“We are just going game-to-game and trying to improve what we are doing,” Lorenzi said. “We are just trying to get better at the basic features of the game so that we can be more consistent.”
After Friday’s game, the Warriors will have a quick turnaround, traveling to Medford for another tournament next Monday and Tuesday.
Del Norte’s senior third basemen Brook Nolan sat out Tuesday’s game after suffering a knee injury on the first day of the Anderson Tournament. Nolan is back walking around, but Lorenzi said they are going to bring her back slowly, with no set timetable for her return.
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org .