Doherty, Lohayza lead Hounds to BHS tournament victory

Bakersfield — For the first time this season the weather was clear long enough to allow the Greyhounds softball team to play their scheduled games. On Thursday, the Hounds hit the road to Bakersfield to play in the Bakersfield High School Lady Drillers Tournament and returned home champions.

Atascadero played two games on Thursday, one game on Friday and two more on Saturday, and won them all. The Hounds outscored their opponents 22-3 over the five-game tournament and were led by sophomore Bailey Doherty and junior Claire Lohayza.

The tournament was full of excellent teams and even better pitchers, but Doherty outshone them all recording an incredible 46 strikeouts in only 21 innings of work.

“She was cruising,” Head Coach Darin Traverso said, “and was striking out a lot of girls.”

In the semifinal game against Liberty, Doherty struck out 13 of the 15 batters she faced and the Hounds came away with a 1-0 win.

“It was a typical pitchers duel,” Traverso said. “It was 0-0, nobody was getting runners on base and then we finally got one on.”

The Hounds bunted the runner to second, hit a ground ball to advance her to third, and with two outs, Shelby Moody hit a hard ground ball that the first basemen dove for, giving her enough time to beat out the play and bring home the run.

In the Championship game, the Hounds faced Frontier High School, a much larger school than Atascadero. Frontier’s enrollment sits at around 2,400 students while Atascadero is around 1,500. It was another pitchers duel, but Doherty was perfect. The sophomore standout threw seven innings giving up no hits, no walk, no runs with 13 strikeouts.

With the game tied at 0-0, Bailey Crawford led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a single. Next to the plate was Lohayza who crushed a two-run homerun, her second of the tournament. With a two-run cushion, Doherty went back to work striking out the final six batters of the game.

The Hounds are 5-0 on the season and are now preparing for league play which will start next Tuesday when they face San Luis Obispo in their PAC 8 opener.


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