By Ray Hamill — A number of former Humboldt-Del Norte League players have been busy on the college softball and baseball fields this spring, with several of them closing out strong.
Most notably Hailey Dolcini, the four-time former Big 5 MVP who is enjoying a stellar sophomore campaign at Fresno State.
Dolcini led the Bulldogs to a 5-4 win over Boise State on Saturday, completing a three-game series sweep.
Dolcini, who won two of the three games against the highly ranked Broncos, won eight of her final nine games, giving up just four hits in the regular season finale.
The Fortuna High grad, who transferred to Fresno from UC Riverside after her freshman year, was the Bulldogs’ ace all spring.
She closes out the regular season with a record of 17-6 with a team-best ERA of 2.06.
The Bulldogs are 36-18 and will find out their playoff fate on Sunday.
A former teammate of Dolcini’s at Fortuna High, Jenna Christensen, also had a big sophomore campaign at McPherson College in Kansas, an NAIA school.
Christenen, a starting catcher who was named the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference softball player of the week twice this spring, hit a very impressive .360 on offense with team-highs in home runs (eight) and doubles (15).
The former Husky was named to the KCAC all-conference second team after closing out strong in a 3-for-4 performance against Ottawa last weekend.
The Bulldogs finished with a record of 33-16.
Another local college sophomore, Eureka’s Sydney Arnold, also recently closed out an impressive season playing at Santa Rosa JC.
The Bear Cubs struggled to a 10-25 record, but Arnold was instrumental at the plate, batting .316 with a team-high 25 RBIs.
The former Logger also had nine home runs and eight doubles, including two home runs in a 5-1 win over American River three weeks ago.
She had two multiple home run games this season.
In baseball, meanwhile, a pair of former Eureka stars recently closed out their respective seasons, including senior Brendon Fischel at Division-III Carleton College in Minnesota.
Fischel closed out his college career in impressive fashion, batting .286 in his final year with team highs in home runs (two) and RBIs (18).
Fischel’s freshman teammate Jacob Smith, a 2018 McKinleyville High grad, also closed out his debut college season strong.
The former Panther star saw more playing time as the season wore on, batting .333 at the plate in 13 games, with a pair of doubles and a triple.
The Knights were 13-21.
Fischel’s younger brother Ethan Fischel, another Eureka grad, had an immediate impact at Division-III Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, playing in 26 games for the Bearcats, batting .233 with a home run, three doubles and 11 RBIs.