By Ray Hamill — While local high school athletes are still hopeful of getting in some sort of a shortened season this spring, college sports appear to be done and dusted until the fall.
The good news is all college athletes appear likely to receive an extra season of eligibility because of the shutdown, although many of them saw what was shaping up to be a stellar year come up a sudden halt.
None more so than former Fortuna standout Hailey Dolcini, who was enjoying a very impressive spring pitching for Fresno State, the No. 25 college softball team in the nation.
The former Husky was on fire with a record of 10-1 in 13 appearances, and had an ERA of 1.51.
Dolcini also had 77 strikeouts in 65 innings, and a save.
Another local standout who was having an impressive season pitching on the baseball mound was College of the Redwoods’ Caleb Ruiz.
The former St. Bernard’s standout was second in the Golden Valley Conference with 41 strikeouts in 44 innings.
Ruiz was 2-4 for the struggling Corsairs (7-15), with an ERA of 3.48, and he also had two saves, tied for the second best mark in the GVC.
Ruiz’s teammate Gannon Cyphers, a sophomore out of Eureka High, was also enjoying a solid spring, batting .290 with 12 RBIs and six doubles, the latter two categories tied for team best.
Former CR and Humboldt Crabs standout Kokko Figueiredo is another local player who had an outstanding campaign stopped short.
The Fortuna grad is a senior at Cal State Monterey Bay and was batting .368 for the 13-9 Otters, with a very impressive .481 on base percentage.
Figueiredo led the team in RBIs (18), walks (19) and doubles (six).
Future Crabs player Ethan Fischel was also enjoying a big season as a sophomore at Division-III Willamette.
Fischel was batting .254 with a team-best 20 RBIs to his credit.
The former Eureka Logger had three home runs, three doubles and five stolen bases for the 8-8 Bearcats.
Former St. Bernard’s standout Garrison Finck, meanwhile, is a freshman pitcher at Cal State East Bay and had seen limited action before the season was halted.
Finck appeared in four games for the 11-9 Pioneers, posting an ERA of 4.05.
Over at Shasta College, a number of former Big 5 players were playing for the Knights, who were beginning to turn around their fortunes when the shutdown came.
Former Arcata standout Jaden Gorge was enjoying a solid first season at the collegiate level, and was beginning to raise the level of his game.
Gorge, a key member of last year’s Tigers’ NCS championship team, was batting .259 for the 7-17 Knights, who had won four of seven games.
Gorge led the team with 13 RBIs, and was getting hot when the shutdown came, posting multiple hits and multiple RBIs in three of his last four games, including going 4-for-6 against Siskiyous.
Gorge’s teammate Brady Munson, a 2019 Eureka grad, also was having an impact for the Knights, making 10 appearances on the mound as he adjusted to the collegiate game.
Fortuna’s Cody Emmons, Arcata’s Austin Kadle and Del Norte’s Cole Harper and Ryan Janeiro each also played this spring for the Knights.
At Santa Rosa JC, Eureka’s Aidan Morris also continues to impress.
The 2019 Humboldt Crab was batting .200 for the No. 1 team in the state, with a pair of home runs and 10 RBIs.
In college basketball, meanwhile, former Arcata standout Kaylie McCracken saw her season come to an abrupt end when Whitman’s Division-III Sweet 16 playoff game was canceled last week.
McCracken was enjoying an outstanding sophomore season for the Blues and received an all-conference honorable mention after finishing second in the league in field goal percentage (53.7) and third on the Blues with 11.1 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game.
Another former Fortuna softball standout also was enjoying a big spring.
Dolcini’s high school teammate Jenna Christensen was batting .289 for the 13-5 McPherson Bulldogs with two home runs, four doubles and 10 RBIs.