By Ray Hamill — No local sportsperson had a bigger year in 2021 than Hailey Dolcini, and that’s why she is our Sportsperson of the Year.
Dolcini not only succeeded at a higher level than any other local athlete this past year, but her influence is as wide and varied as any other local athlete, and that as much as anything is what gets her the nod for this award, which annually goes to someone whose achievements go well beyond the field of competition.
The award is chosen by Humboldt Sports.
Playing for Fresno State in 2021, Dolcini was among the top college pitchers in the nation and was a top-25 finalist for college softball player of the year.
She incredibly threw two of her four no-hitters within a 24-hour spell and finished the season with two perfect games.
She posted a record of 22-5 and finished the spring season with 259 strikeouts and the 11th-best ERA in the nation (1.12).
But it’s Dolcini’s influence off the field that has caught the attention of the local community every bit as much.
The former Fortuna Husky, who was a four-time Big 5 MVP, continues to influence numerous local softball players and show them what can be achieved.
“I have never seen anybody work as hard and deserve more than what she and the team are accomplishing,” Fortuna Huskies head coach Eric Helms said of Dolcini and the Bulldogs during the season.
Her college coach echoed the sentiment.
“Everything that Hailey Dolcini gets out there, she earns,” Fresno State head coach Linda Garza told the Bulldogs athletics web site during the season. “She works hard all the time. She shows up early and she does her due diligence in her job.”
This past year, a Fortuna coach also told me how Dolcini influenced the Huskies’ football team on its way to a state championship in 2017.
The players at football practice would see Dolcini throwing with her father on the softball field every day, working relentlessly on her game during the offseason, and many of the coaches often cited her as an example for their players.
This coming year Dolcini will play for the University of Texas after transferring in order to accommodate her masters ambitions.
Her final college season should be well worth keeping tabs on for local fans as we wait to see what new heights she can scale while playing for a top program.
And no doubt she will continue to influence hundreds of young girls and boys here on the North Coast and show them what can be achieved with hard work and dedication.
Congratulations to Hailey Dolcini, our 2021 Sportsperson of the Year.
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