By Ray Hamill — Most of the H-DNL teams involved in this year’s North Coast Section baseball and softball playoffs remain alive as we head toward the second round of action this weekend.
Of the 15 teams to qualify, 12 are still in contention, and all of them will feature in games on either Friday or Saturday, including three all-local matchups.
The weekend action gets under way with two big softball showdowns on Friday evening at 5 p.m., as a pair of top seeds get set to debut.
In Division 4, No. 1 McKinleyville will host Big 5 rival Fortuna, after the No. 9 Huskies won a thriller at Cloverdale in their first-round game on Tuesday.
In Division 5, meanwhile, the Hoopa girls will play their first NCS game since their championship win over St. Vincent de Paul in 2019.
The No. 1 Warriors will host Little 4 rival and No. 8 seed St. Bernard’s, which took care of business at home to University in their playoff opener on Tuesday.
A busy weekend continues on Saturday with eight more H-DNL teams in action, including four games here in Humboldt and Del Norte counties.
Fresh off their big win over Tomales on Wednesday, the top-seeded St. Bernard’s Crusaders will host No. 4 South Fork in Division 6 baseball, with first pitch set for 1 p.m.
In the same division, No. 3 Ferndale will play at No. 2 Credo on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Two local top seeds will also open their playoffs on Saturday.
In Division-3 softball, Big 5 champion Eureka will play No. 9 Encinal at 1 p.m. at Washington Elementary School, while in Division-4 baseball, Arcata will host No. 8 Redwood Christian at the Arcata Ball Park at 7 p.m.
In Division-4 softball, No. 2 Del Norte will host No. 7 Salesian at 1 p.m., while in Division-5 softball, No. 7 South Fork will play at No. 2 St. Helena.
And rounding out a packed weekend of action, the No. 11 Fortuna Huskies will try to make it two straight playoff road wins when they play at No. 3 Saint Mary’s in a Division-4 clash at 1 p.m.