The North County baseball and softball teams are the kings and queens of the spring. Atascadero, Templeton and Paso Robles will each be sending (or already sent) their baseball and softball teams into the CIF playoffs. The first round of playoffs begin Thursday afternoon at 3:15 p.m.
The Greyhound softball team and both Templeton teams will be hosting their first-round playoff games on Thursday. Atascadero’s softball team will host St. Bonaventure at Ruth Doser Field while Templeton’s Vineyard Elementary will host two games. The boys will be welcoming in Windward High School while the girls host Quartz Hill.
The Greyhounds baseball team finished in second place overall in the PAC 8 with an overall record of 18-9 and will be heading south to play Sierra Vista High School, the No. 1 team out of the Montview League. The Don’s carry an 18-5 record and have a higher run differential than the Hounds (+120 for SVHS, +48 for Atas) but according to Maxpreps.com, are ranked lower in Division 4 than Atascadero.
Atascadero has gone from winning nine straight games to dropping four of their last six as they enter the playoffs but last week the Hounds played a series with the San Luis Obispo Tigers who are ranked in the top 10 for Division 3. This was a good test for the Hounds who are will be playing in a division lower (division 3) in the playoffs and will likely not face an arm like Cooper Benson’s.
Sierra Vista is entering the playoffs riding a four-game winning streak, three of which came against the last place team in their league.
The Atascadero team this year is less led by a single player and more by a group of seniors and experienced players. If the Hounds play strong defense behind their starter and are able to get some offense going, they have a great shot at moving on to the next round.
The Hounds softball team has only lost a single game since the early part of March and enter the playoffs as one of the top seeds after finishing with a 20-3 overall record. Atascadero has climbed all the way to No. 5 in Division 3 and has earned the right to host their first-round playoff game against St. Bonaventure, the No. 3 team from the Tri-Valley League.
On paper, the Greyhounds should breeze past the Seraphs. St. Bonny is only 12-12 and have scored 86 total runs this season. In comparison, Atascadero has scored 86 more runs than they have allowed as a team and 133 in total. However, St. Bonaventure plays in one of the hardest divisions in softball with the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked teams in Division 5 also playing in the Tri-Valley League.
Atascadero is lead by their star pitcher and Cal Poly commit, Bailey Doherty. Doherty has already thrown a perfect game this season and one was hit batter away from throwing two consecutively. If a three-loss team could have a weak spot, for the Hounds it would be offensively. At times the Hounds have trouble driving in runs but if Doherty never lets anyone score, it shouldn’t be a problem.
The Templeton Eagles swept the Los Padres League in softball and baseball and only lost a combined four league games the entire season. However, it was the boys who allowed all four of the losses as the Eagle softball teams
Templeton finished the season 21-7 overall and wrapped up the Los Padres League for the first time since 2013 with a game still to go in the season. The Eagles have seven seniors who lead the team, many of whom have been starting since their sophomore year. The Eagles play great team defense with very little making it through the infield of Noah Bullard, Justice Gibbons, and Jake Money. Offensively, the Eagles manufacture offense with patience at the plate, timely hitting and speed.
The Eagles will be hosting their first round game on Saturday as they welcome in Windward High School, the no. 2 team from the Gold Coast league. The Wildcats finished the season 15-8 and rank 24th in the division while the Eagles rank 16th.
Interesting to note, the Greyhounds and the Eagles are on different sides of the same bracket meaning that they would potentially meet in a CIF Championship game if the teams keep winning.
The softball team is yet to lose this year and enter the playoffs with an astounding 22-0 record and will host Quartz Hill High School, the No. 2 team from the Golden League. The Eagles enter the playoffs as the highest ranked team on the Central Coast at No. 4 in Division 5 and spent most of the year ranked No. 3.
The Eagles have depth. They were the best offensive and defensive team in the Los Padres League and it wasn’t that close. Ashley Daugherty, the Texas A&M commit, is a lights-out pitcher that can rake. She has thrown a perfect game already this season and also leads the league in batting average this year with her teammate Ashley Ingle by batting over .500.
The Templeton baseball and softball teams both play at Vineyard Elementary Thursday at 3:15 p.m.