By Ray Hamill — Expect a strong showing for the H-DNL teams in the North Coast Section softball and baseball playoffs, which get under way in less than two weeks.
The latest softball rankings on MaxPreps have local teams ranked No. 1 in three of the six NCS divisions, including the Eureka Loggers, who lead the field in Division III and are now No. 4 in the entire section, trailing only D-I Granada, D-II Livermore and D-I Heritage.
The Eureka girls will look to secure the Big 5 championship outright and a guaranteed home playoff game when they play a doubleheader at Arcata on Saturday, and they have lost just once all season on the way to a 20-1 record (9-1 in the Big 5).
Also riding high in the latest MaxPreps rankings are the McKinleyville and Hoopa girls.
The Del Norte Warriors, meanwhile, can also expect a high seed at next week’s seedings meeting and are now No. 2 in Division IV, just one spot behind the Panthers, and No. 23 in the entire section.
The Big 5 should feature heavily in the Division-IV playoffs, with the Fortuna Huskies also highly-ranked at No. 4.
In baseball, meanwhile, Arcata remains No. 1 in Division IV and a very respectable No. 14 in the entire section.
St. Bernard’s, which dominated the rest of the Little 4 on the way to a championship this spring, also is No. 1 in Division VI and No. 28 overall in the section.
The Eureka Loggers, who are closing in on an outright Big 5 title, are No. 6 in Division III and No. 35 overall in the section, surprisingly trailing Arcata by 21 spots.
The Loggers have been one of the hottest teams in the H-DNL in recent weeks and have won 12 of their last 13 games, including a perfect 10-0 run in the Big 5.
Other local teams riding high the rankings include Fortuna at No. 7 in Division IV, Ferndale at No. 2 in Division VI and South Fork at No. 4 in Division VI.