PASO ROBLES — Right now the only two undefeated softball teams in the PAC 8 are the Paso Robles Bearcats and the Atascadero Greyhounds. Overall, the Hounds have the better record at 10-2 than the Bearcats at 7-3, but through league play the Bearcats have been slightly more impressive.
In their first three league games against Arroyo Grande, St. Joseph and Pioneer Valley the Lady Bearcats scored 18 runs while only allowing one. Other than losing a game to Templeton early in the year, the Bearcats have only lost to two powerhouse valley teams in Buchanan (who handed Atascadero it’s only two losses this year), and Hanford.
On Thursday afternoon with the school halls empty because of spring break, the Bearcats faced Arroyo Grande and cruised to a 6-0 victory.
Paso got off to a hot start by scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning and never gave the Eagles any chances to climb back into the game.
Brooke Milder, the leadoff hitter, walked and then stole second. First basemen Becca Stroud then moved her to third, setting up Rebecca Twyman, who drove in the first run of the game with an RBI double. Senior centerfielder Crystal Linn then drove in Twyman two batters later and that was all the insurance pitcher Alyssa Valle would need.
Valle pitched a complete game shutout allowing three hits and administering four strikeouts over her seven innings of work. While Valle was pitching great, her defense behind her played a stellar game. The combination of Milder and Twyman gobbled up any ball hit up the middle and turned on of the prettiest double plays of the season in the fourth inning.
“Becca Twyman and I are pretty communicative and we always talk in practice and even talk about plays before they happen,” Milder said of the shortstop and second base connection. “So that way we know who is getting what base and if the ball comes to either of us we know we have each other’s backs. We know how to work together, we have worked together for the past three years.”
Offensively, Paso put the hurt on the Arroyo Grande pitcher. Twyman finished the afternoon going three-for-three with a double and RBI and Linn went one-for-three with a double and two RBIs.
“I have been focusing on keeping my head down,” Linn said after the game. “I have been struggling for a while, so just keeping my head down and believing I can do it has really helped me.”