Ally Del Grande slides across home plate to score one of her four runs on the day as St. Bernard’s held off visiting Ferndale 10-8, Friday evening at Washington Field, in Eureka. (Jose Quezada — For the Times-Standard)
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Ally Del Grande delivered a complete-game performance, striking out 13 batters — not a bad way to celebrate her team’s senior night — and the St. Bernard’s softball team won its sixth consecutive game, beating visiting Little 4 Conference foe Ferndale 10-8 Friday evening at Washington Field, in Eureka.

“It wasn’t our best game by any means, but we hit the ball well and did enough to get the win,” St. Bernard’s head coach Alan Borges said.

St. Bernard’s held a sizable lead for the majority of Friday’s game and entering the seventh inning led 10-4.

Ferndale managed to put up four runs in the seventh inning to put some pressure on Del Grande and the home team, but the senior found a way to close out the game despite what Borges framed as a bit of an unfocused day by his team.

“Of course, the girls were excited because it was senior day and all their parents were there and what not, and rightfully so,” Borges said. “But, once you put together a few wins in a row I think teams have a tendency to get on cruise control, and I think that happened a little bit today. Anyone can beat you on any given day and we’ll need to keep that in mind going forward.”

Del Grande, a senior, finished her day in the circle with nine hits given up, five walks, three hit-by-pitch to go with her 13 strikeouts. At the plate Del Grande led her team as well, going 3-for-4 with four runs scored and three RBIs.

“Del Grande is just such a hard worker, she deserves everything she gets this season,” Borges said.

Calissa Stokesberry, another of the Crusaders’ three seniors, had a good day hitting wise as well, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

“I think what has impressed me most about Calissa is how she has really bought into what being a teammate and a team player means,” Borges said of his versatile senior who plays both infield and outfield, and who can also pitch.

Alyssa Liles, the third senior on the 2019 Crusaders, began her softball playing days at St. Bernard’s with no prior experience playing the game. Borges said she has “come a heck of a long way,” and is a great contributor to the team. “I’m very proud of her,” he said.

MacKenzie Finck, a junior catcher, went 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored and an RBI in the win for St. Bernard’s.

Alyssa Watkins, a freshman, started at pitcher for Ferndale and recorded five strike outs while allowing 11 hits.

Hitting wise, Bryleigh Busick went 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI for Ferndale in the loss.

With Friday’s win St. Bernard’s improves to 7-5 overall and 6-0 in Little 4 play, where it holds a four-game lead over second-place Hoopa (2-2, 3-5) — which will face South Fork (0-2, 7-2) today for a doubleheader in Miranda — with four conference games left to be played. St. Bernard’s will enjoy a few days off before taking Ferndale (0-4, 3-6) on again Tuesday.

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