Crimson’ Lady Cats absolutely dominant this year; currently 17-2
The North County always provides some of the top softball and baseball teams in the county, and 2021 has been no different as the Bearcats find themselves in second place in both sports with just a few weeks to go until graduation. This past weekend the boys squared off with the no. 1 team in Division 2 of the CIF Central Section in the undefeated Arroyo Grande Eagles and handed them their first loss of the season and had a chance at taking the three-game series. While the boys were battling it out at home, the Lady Bearcats softball team continued to roll as they beat the SLO Tigers by a combined score of 24-1 in two games to earn their sixth and seventh consecutive wins.
The girls have been absolutely dominant this year and are currently 17-2 on the season and 8-1 in the Mountain League. The Bearcats have cruised through the Mountain League behind a potent offense and three outstanding pitchers. While most softball teams in the county rely on one or maybe two arms to get them through this condensed COVID-19 season, the Crimson’ Cats are deep and relentlessly attack the strike zone.
Junior Jaiden Ralston works as the team’s ace and is currently 7-0 on the season with a .28 earned run average and 97 strikeouts. According to Maxpreps, Ralston has allowed only two runs in 50 innings of work this year. As perhaps a blessing in disguise for PRHS, Ralston missed some time early in the year due to a tight hamstring that forced head coach Billy Tidwell to turn to sophomore pitcher Brooklyn Pesenti doubleheaders. The sophomore has been excellent all season, pitching 39 innings with a 1.44 ERA for Paso Robles and has struck out 40 while going 4-2 in her first season in the circle for the varsity.
The third arm for the Bearcats belongs to senior Hannah Chambers, who worked on her stuff all through the extended offseason, and it has seen it pay off this season. Chambers is 6-0 for the Bearcats with a 2.03 ERA. The senior has only allowed nine earned runs through 31 innings of work.
While the pitchers keep the score low, the offense brings out the dynamite. This season the Lady Bearcats have scored 181 runs in league games which is 20 runs higher than the next closest team. Offensively, Paso Robles has five players hitting .500 or better while the entire team has a batting average of .425. However, one girl has stood above the rest when it comes to driving in runs, Chambers. When the senior captain isn’t pitching, she is intimidating opposing pitchers. According to Maxpreps, Chambers has 28 hits in 56 at-bats, has 32 RBI, seven home runs, four triples, and a grand slam on the season. Another huge contributor to the Bearcat offense has been the girl in their leadoff spot, sophomore Stella Gidcumb. Gidcumb is batting .525 with 22 RBI, seven doubles, and three home runs, including a grand slam this past weekend.
With two weeks to go in the regular season, the girls are in the perfect spot to win the Mountain League. Paso Robles is a game behind Templeton, who is undefeated in the Mountain League but has yet to play either of the other top three teams in Arroyo Grande and Paso Robles. The Bearcats end the season with a three-game series with Templeton next week.
The boy’s baseball team had their chance at the eventual Mountain League champions this past weekend and gave them their best shot but came up just short. Entering the three-game series last week, Arroyo Grande had an unblemished 18-0 record that is now tarnished. The Bearcats couldn’t pull out the series victory but pushed it to a rubber match Saturday afternoon after earning a thrilling win that morning. Down 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, junior Caron Turnquist roped a double into the gap for the walk-off winner. Not more than 30 minutes later, the teams were back out on the diamond for game two, and after one inning Paso Robles lead 2-0.
Arroyo Grande battled back and won the final game 11-5, but the Bearcats proved they could play and beat any team in the Central Section. With two weeks left to go in the regular season, Paso Robles will finish out with a series against a struggling Righetti squad before a fun end of the season matchup with the Templeton Eagles.