The McKinleyville Panthers have been unstoppable for much of the season, and that continued to be the case in the Charles Lakin H-DNL Tournament on Thursday, with a comfortable 11-0 win over Arcata in five innings in the semifinal round.
“They jumped ahead and never looked back,” Arcata head coach Teresa Stavert said. “They outplayed us and we were unable to fight back.”
The win was the fourth in four matchups against Arcata this season for the Panthers, who improved to 19-3.
Senior catcher Olivia Alves led the way in the win, finishing 3-for-3 with a double and four RBIs, as the Panthers outhit the Tigers 13-3.
Lexi White, Jaycee Morais and Jada Bailey each added two hits in the win, including a triple by Bailey and a double by Morais.
McKenzie Gonsalves pitched the win, holding the Tigers to just three hits and one walk in the shutout, while striking out three.
Gonsalves, McKenna Turner, Ashley Ballew and Lily Thiesfeld each also had a hit in the win.
Lola Renteria had a big game for Arcata, finishing 2-for-2, while Makayla Bernald was 1-for-2 with a double.
Bernald took the loss in the circle.
The Tigers drop to 16-9 and will now turn their attention to next week’s NCS playoffs.
“I have to hope we learned today,” Stavert said. “No one is going to roll over and let us win from here on out.”
The Tigers came into the game ranked No. 6 among Division-IV teams in the NCS, according to MaxPreps, and are still hoping for a home game in next week’s tournament.
McKinleyville will now meet Eureka in the championship game for the second straight year, hoping to avenge last season’s loss.
Friday’s decider is set for 5 p.m. at the Arcata Sports Complex.
Ray Hamill writes at humboldtsports.com, where you can read lots more about sports in Humboldt County.