The Del Norte softball team looked rusty at times on Tuesday in Arcata, but the Warriors managed to make enough plays to pull out a 7-2 victory over the Tigers in Del Norte’s first game since March.
“We didn’t play at the level that we need to be playing at,” said Del Norte head coach Pablo Lorenzi. “It’s like I told them, though, it’s understandable because we haven’t played since March 31. It has been over 10 days that we haven’t seen any competition. At the same time, though, we still have to make plays and we still have to hit the ball.”
Del Norte struggled to get its offense going early. The Warriors were held hitless through the first two innings, but leadoff hitter Payten Healy was able to give Del Norte a one-run lead in the top of the first inning after drawing a walk, stealing second and third base, then coming home on a passed ball.
The Warriors finished the game with just five hits while striking out seven times. Del Norte managed to get its offense on track in the third inning, however. Pitcher Allison Douglas got the rally started with a triple, followed by back-to-back doubles from Maddy Burchell and McKenzy Fernandes, all with two outs, to cap a four run third inning to take a 5-0 lead.
“What it came down to is in one inning we actually sat down and did the things that we have been practicing,” Lorenzi said. “She was throwing the ball outside, and we finally went to the opposite field and we hit a triple and two doubles. Things just started functioning the way they should have been right from the beginning.”
Del Norte was also a little bit uneven in the field in their first game back since the start of spring break.
“We had some exceptional plays, and we had some plays where we fell asleep,” Lorenzi said. “Our firstbasemen (Maddy Burchell) had just a great effort and made a diving catch at the fence. We also had a great defensive play on a ball hit off our pitcher to the second base side and Payten (Healy) came across and threw the girl out at first. Our catcher (Tvshiina Jacobs) threw out the first girl that tried to run on her. So we did some things right, but we got out of position defensively a couple times that allowed them to get hits that probably shouldn’t have been hits.”
With the win, Del Norte improves to 3-0 in the Humboldt-Del Norte Big 5 and 9-3 overall this year. The Warriors will be back in action on Friday for a doubleheader against Arcata scheduled to start at 2 p.m.
The Warriors are hoping to get back to playing fundamentally sound softball in their return to the diamond for their first home games of the season.
“It is hard to be consistent when you aren’t playing consistently. I think that was part of it,” Lorenzi said. “I also don’t think we brought the right attitude to the game. We worked on that (in practice Wednesday), we made some corrections, and I think we will be better on Friday.”