NORTH COUNTY — This unique, COVID-19 condensed, spring season of softball has been dominated by three teams this year, two of which are in the North County. The Templeton Eagles are currently in first place in the Mountain League with a record of 10-2, 15-3 overall, and in second place in the Paso Robles Bearcats at 9-3, 18-4 overall. However, the third team in the mix is the Arroyo Grande Eagles (16-3, 9-3), who just handed Templeton their first two losses of the season last week.
With just one week to go in the season, there are different scenarios where each of the three teams could end up with the crown as the Eagles and the Bearcats will face off three times to end the season with the first game in Templeton Wednesday night and a doubleheader to follow on Saturday in Paso Robles. While the top two teams battle it out against each other, Arroyo Grande will be finishing their season against a one-win San Luis Obispo Tigers team.
If Templeton sweeps the Bearcats this weekend, they would finish the season 13-2 and in sole possession of the Mountain League title. If Templeton takes two of three from the Bearcats, then they will, in all likelihood, be tied with Arroyo Grande at 12-3. If the Bearcats take two from the Templeton, Arroyo Grande will hold the title, and if Paso Robles sweeps, they would be in a tie with Arroyo Grande. All of these scenarios are assuming an AG sweep over SLO.
This year has been a special one for the Templeton Eagles, who have only lost three games the entire year while playing in a league they are not supposed to dominate. While the Eagles have long been one of the top softball teams in the county, they are also one of the smallest schools but decided to make the leap and challenge themselves against the bigger schools and might prove to be the best.
Templeton is currently ranked no. 14 in the Central Section but no. 3 in Division 3, a Division that many of the girls on the team are familiar with and have the bling to show it after winning a CIF title in 2019. While many in Templeton absolutely want to hang a Mountain League banner to go with their collection of Ocean League titles, the real goal for the Eagles is a good seed in the D3 playoffs and another shot at a CIF title.
The Eagles have been a juggernaut all season and have steamrolled through a majority of their schedule. Templeton has been led by a strong core and standout pitcher Charlotte Forniss who has kept hitters off-balance all season while the defense behind cleans up anything she might have left over the plate. Over their 18 total games this season, the girls have five shutout victories and ten games where their opponent scored two points or less.
Offensively, the Eagles are the second team in the Mountain League in runs (trailing the Bearcats) with 172 on the entire season while only allowing 55. In just league games alone, the Eagles are the top-scoring team with 123 goals, 21 more than the second-place Bearcats.
The two teams will begin the series Wednesday with one game at 5:30 p.m. at Vineyard Elementary School in Templeton. The final two games will be played in Paso Robles on Saturday, May 29, the first at 11 a.m. and the second at 2 p.m.