Preparing for state

Paso 8U girls won three of six tourneys this year

PASO ROBLES — The Paso Robles 8U girls softball all-star team is heading to state competition in San Diego on July 13 after qualifying earlier this season. The team hosted an open tryout in May following the conclusion of the season and began practicing and playing tournaments together shortly after.

The team is comprised of 12 girls: Dani Rivas, Emma Krilling, Harlem Rickson, Izzy Murphy, Kallie Gatoloai, Katie Karp, Kayla Kratz, Kyla McGuckin, Madison Grennan, Natalie Davis, Preslie Lyles and Riley Moore.

The girls are currently 19-5 on the season, have won three of the six tournaments and placed third in their Santa Maria tournament, which was a state qualifier.

“We actually placed third in Central California,” said Kim Rivas, head coach of the 8U softball team. The tournament had 13 teams from throughout Central California participating and hoping to punch their ticket to the big tournament.

Last year’s 8U all-star team relied on lights-out pitching and cruised to victory more times than not, but with only three girls returning to the team this year the Bearcats were forced to make some changes.

“We had some really great girls tryout, which was nice,” Rivas said. “But we really didn't have the pitching, well, we didn't think we had the pitching that we had last year and the girls have really stepped up.”

This season the team rotates four pitchers, Rivas, Davis, Krilling, and Murphy with Rivas as the main pitcher throwing the most innings.  Where the Bearcats really exceed is on defense, specifically their infield.

“Our infield has been nearly flawless,” Rivas said. “And I think we have only had a couple of errors through the tournaments.”

The girls have played in many close games this year and as their coach says, “They just don’t know how to give up, they just don’t have that attitude.” Time and time again, the girls have been able to stay calm and record clutch outs.

The Bearcats won the San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, and Templeton tournaments earlier this year and came into the Atascadero tournament seeded first, but took home third place after dropping their first game.

After the state tournament next week, the girls will play in one more tournament to support breast cancer awareness before getting the rest of the summer off.


© 2019-Paso Robles Press

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