The H-DN’s dominance in North Coast Section softball picked up just where it left off a year ago on the opening day of the 2023 playoffs.
The H-DN remarkably has won five of the 12 section playoff tournaments in the last two postseasons combined, including two a year ago, and judging by Tuesday’s results the league teams are eager to add to that tally.
The Division-4 bracket got under way with big wins for No. 4 Fortuna and No. 5 Hoopa.
The two victories set up a rematch between the two H-DN rivals, who will face off at Fortuna in Friday’s quarterfinals.
The Huskies got the better of Hoopa twice early in the softball season, before the Warriors went on an 18-game winning streak.
The H-DN didn’t far quite so well on the opening day of the NCS baseball playoffs.
In Division 3, No. 12 seed Eureka fell 6-1 at No. 5 Bishop O’Dowd, while in Division 5, No. 15 South Fork fell 9-0 at No. 2 University Prep.
Hercules’ starting pitcher was unable to make the trip for Tuesday’s softball game and the Titans had problems finding the strike zone.
The replacement pitchers had 15 walks and three hit batters in four innings.
The Fortuna pitchers, meanwhile, were far more effective, with senior Kylee Fennell and freshman Isabel Sanchez combining to hold the visitors to three runs on four hits and five walks and striking out nine.
Offensively, the Huskies finished with 17 hits, including a triple by Sanchez and doubles by Faith Helms, Kylee Fennell and Libby Johnston.
The impressive Johnston drove in six of her team’s runs, while Isabel Sanchez had four RBIs, and Faith Helms and Zoe Dewberry had three each.
The Hoopa girls, meanwhile, comfortably won their opening game against the Kennedy Eagles despite being forced to move up a division for this year’s playoffs because of their recent success in the postseason.
Standout pitcher Tatianna Colegrove got the win in the circle and struck out 13 Kennedy batters.
The influential senior also had a big day at the plate and was 3-for-3, while teammate Jewely Bibancos also was 3-for-3 with a home run and a triple.
Nalani Colegrove finished 1-for-2 with a double.
Senior Marciella Taylor took the loss in the circle for the visitors, striking out seven and walking eight Hoopa batters.
Sophomore Ambria Gallon led Kennedy at the plate and was 1-for-2.
Friday’s all-H-DN quarterfinal gets under way at 5 p.m.
We’ll have more on Tuesday’s baseball games on Wednesday.