By Ray Hamill — The brackets for the CIF NorCal Softball and Baseball Championships were released early Sunday afternoon, setting up a huge all-local clash here in Humboldt County.
Four local teams have been included in the tournament brackets, including three H-DNL softball teams in the eight-team Division-IV field.
The Eureka girls are seeded No. 3 in the bracket and will host No. 6 Hoopa at Washington Elementary School on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m.
This will be the third meeting of the season between the Big 5 and Little 4 champs, and one of two NorCal first-round games here in Humboldt County.
In baseball, St. Bernard’s received the No. 4 seed in Division III and will open at home against No. 5 Foothill, also on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
The McKinleyville Panthers are also included in the Division-IV softball bracket and received the No. 5 seed.
The Panthers will open on the road at Carlmont High School in Belmont, just south of San Francisco, also at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
Interestingly, the Panthers were seeded one spot higher than Hoopa despite losing to the Warriors in the recent Charlie Lakin Tournament semifinals.
Both teams won a North Coast Section championship this weekend, with the Panthers prevailing in Division 4 and the Warriors winning in Division 5.
A total of 40 teams have been included in the five NorCal tournaments in both baseball and softball, which are split into five eight-team divisions (I through V).
After a dominating season and postseason run through the NCS Division-6 bracket, the Crusaders were moved up to the Division-III bracket for the NorCals and seeded No. 4, which means they were ranked 20th out of the 40 NorCal playoff teams.
Second round games in both sports will be played on Thursday, with at least one local team guaranteed to be involved.
The season-ending NorCal championship games will be played on Saturday.
The Eureka girls have won both previous games against Hoopa this season, taking a non-league matchup 3-0 and following that with a 5-2 win in the Lakin championship game.
The Eureka girls suffered just their second loss of the season in Friday’s NCS Division-3 championship game and are 26-2, while Hoopa is 22-5.
Mack is 20-7, while Carlmont is 16-11.
St. Bernard’s is 24-4, while Foothill is 21-10.