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CIF North Coast Section softball championships: Finals previews, brackets, players to watch

The CIFNCS softball finals – with the exception of Division 6 – will take place at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 27.

Point Arena locked up the first North Coast Section softball title of the year, defeating Laytonville 12-8 in the Division 6 championship.

Five more title games are set to be played this weekend however, and we previews for all of them.


Below are the links to brackets for each division, in addition to the links to finals previews for Divisions 1 and 2. The game previews for Divisions 3, 4, and 5 are written below.

All five championships are at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 27 at the home site of the higher-seeded team.


CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: No. 1 Granada Livermore (26-3) vs. No. 2 Heritage Brentwood (23-3-1)

Click here to read our full preview on the Division 1 championship game.


CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: No. 2 Benicia (21-6) vs. No. 5 Marin Catholic (22-3)

Click here to read our full preview on the Division 2 championship game.


CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: No. 1 Eureka (26-1) vs. No. 3 San Rafael (23-5) – at Washington Elementary in Eureka

Despite the fact that this is a Division 3 matchup, these are a couple teams that could go pretty far in Division 2. 

The Loggers have only lost one game all season, and it came against a good McKinleyville foe without their ace in a series they still won. They haven't played elite competition, but they've sure taken care of business against everyone they have faced, game after game, week after week, month after month. Lineup depth is a big question mark for Eureka, but the duo of McKenna Beach (a Cal Poly Humboldt commit) and Kira Morris is having an incredible season at the plate, and Morris is also a dominant pitcher. Kaitlin Giacone is the third-best bat in the lineup and a solid No. 2 pitcher if needed.

San Rafael has also been consistent, with three of its losses coming against Division 2 finalist Marin Catholic, and two of those going to extra innings. The Bulldogs also got beat soundly by Pinole Valley a week into the season, and also dropped a game against Redwood a week later. But they've only lost one game since the start of April, and they even avenged the blowout loss against Pinole Valley in their last game to make it here. So the momentum shouldn't exactly be against them – although the drive from Marin County to Humboldt County might be.

Not only do the Bulldogs have their own two-way star in super freshman Thomara Drummer, but they have the luxury of two more strong pitchers on the roster in Megan Murphy and Kelsey McNair, both of whom are good hitters as well. Star hitter Sophia Everett and solid contributor Angel Amesa round out the team's core, which might be a little scarier on paper than Eureka's, but there is one X-factor (besides the long drive) that has a chance to go against San Rafael – nearly all its best players are freshman or sophomores, including freshmen Drummer and Everett. 


CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: No. 1 McKinleyville (18-8) vs. No. 3 Fort Bragg (24-3)

While they're the lower seed and road team, two-way star Cassiti Baroni is so good that having her makes the Timberwolves the automatic favorite here, although it's only by a hair. That and the fact that they defeated McKinleyville 8-7 when they met early in the season. 

Baroni is one of the top pitchers in the North Coast Section regardless of division, and the second-best hitter on the team this season behind Lucy Hendricks. Hendricks is not only a big-time power hitter with eight home runs, 25 extra-base hits, and 33 RBIs, but a run-scoring machine too with a .488 BA and .590 OBP to go with whopping totals of 34 bases stolen and 49 runs. Fort Bragg has some other good hitters, but those two may have to carry a heavy load as the Panthers' advantage is their breadth of offensive threats.


CHAMPIONSHIP GAME: No. 1 Hoopa Valley (21-5) vs. No. 2 St. Helena (17-7)

After receiving first round bye's, both of these squads have only given up one run in two playoff games. Little 7 League champion Hoopa Valley defeated St. Bernard's in the first round, avenging its only loss during league play (although the loss was sandwiched in between three blowout wins over the Crusaders). St. Helena is a touch more battle-tested for facing a slightly harder regular season schedule, which included close losses in league play to current Division 4 finalist Fort Bragg, and a close loss to the other D4 finalist, McKinleyville.

Both teams are led by two-way stars. Aribella Farrell is St. Helena's best pitcher and hitter, and Tahlia Smith is number two in both regards. Hoopa Valley ace Savannah Rae Colgrove tossed a two-hit shutout to defeat Head-Royce 3-0 in the semifinals, and also hit an RBI triple and came around to score.


No. 1 Point Arena defeated No. 2 Laytonville 12-8 in the championship game.


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