Doherty strikes out 18 in 4-1 win over St. Joseph

ATASCADERO — In their last action before a well-deserved spring break, the Atascadero Greyhounds hosted the St. Joseph Knights last Thursday in what was an important game for the Greyhounds to win in order to keep pace with the Bearcats.

Atascadero is currently 10-2 overall and 3-0 in PAC 8 with both of their losses coming at the hands of valley powerhouse Buchanan. It appears the Greyhounds biggest competition in league this year will be the 7-3 Bearcats, who are also undefeated in league.

In the small sample size from the season thus far, the teams are very evenly matched. Both schools have a go-to pitcher who can shut down any team and play solid defense behind them. So far this season, Atascadero has scored 42 runs and only given up 28, a run differential of +14, while the Bearcats have scored 50 runs and allowed 38 (in fewer games), a run differential of +12. The two teams will play for the first time next Tuesday at Atascadero at 4:30 p.m. for the sole possession of first place in PAC 8.

Doherty pitched another gem on Thursday, giving up one run (in the final inning) on one hit over seven innings and struck out 18. High school softball games consist of only seven innings and in those seven innings, there is a limit of a total of 21 outs, which means that 85 percent of the batters Doherty faced retreated back to the dugout, head bowed and tails tucked after striking out. In fact, eight of the batter who Doherty faced on Thursday struck out multiple times without recording a hit.

Offensively, the Hounds put together one big third inning, scoring four runs, and that was all they would need. Senior first baseman Taylor Degnan recorded only one hit on the day but made it count by belting a two-run home run and Claire Lohayza finished the day 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI.


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