Rebecca Twyman has been playing softball for a long time. But on Tuesday against Mission Prep, the Paso Robles junior second baseman did something on the field she has never done before.
With Royals runners on first and second base in the third inning, Twyman snagged a line drive off the bat of a Mission Prep batter, stepped on second base to get the force out of the lead runner and threw back to first base to catch the base runner for another force out. Triple play.
Paso Robles (9-8, 6-1 PAC 8) went on to win the game 10-4 and maintain a stronghold on first place in the PAC 8 standings.
It’s a dramatic turnaround from last season when Paso Robles finished with a losing record (5-7) in league play and missed out on the playoffs.
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Leading the resurgent Bearcats is first-year head coach Berkley Baker, the third different head coach at Paso Robles in the past three seasons. He’s a familiar faceto most on the team. Baker has been coaching many of the players on club teams since their 8U days including Brooke Milder, Becca Stroud and Sophia Prieto, a trio that makes up three-fourths of the infield. Baker called it a “twist of fate.”
“We know the kids, we know how competitive they are,” Baker said. “They have been real successful (in club softball), so I think they are bringing that attitude up. They know how to win.”
The young crop of players has mixed well with the veterans from last season including Twyman, junior center fielder Crystal Linn and senior left fielder Nicole Raithel. Linn is leading the way at the plate with a team-high 22 hits and is second on the team with a .468 batting average. Twyman is close behind with 18 hits, and Raithel is batting .500.
“I feel like it’s just a team effort. Our chemistry is really good,” said Twyman, who went 2 for 3 with an RBI against Mission Prep.
Seven players are batting .333 or higher, and that offensive firepower has allowed Paso Robles to knock off some of the biggest contenders in a deep PAC 8 this season including Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo and Righetti. The Bearcats’ only loss was a 7-2 defeat to Atascadero. All four teams are close behind in the standings, either one or two games back.
“We snuck in the back door in the first half, but now they are going to be looking for us,” Baker said. “There is a lot of softball left, and there are a lot of good teams out there.”
The rest of the PAC 8 will certainly hear footsteps when the Bearcats begin the second round of the PAC 8 schedule Friday against St. Joseph. Mission Prep (4-6, 1-6) was led offensively against Paso Robles by Anni Bailey, who went 3 for 3 with an RBI. Kyra Harris and Camryn Stout each went 2 for 3 with an RBI apiece. The Royals will face Pioneer Valley at home Thursday.
Atascadero 5, Arroyo Grande 4 (9 innings)
Atascadero rallied from an early 3-0 deficit to defeat Arroyo Grande in extra innings.
Arroyo Grande jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings and held the lead until Atascadero answered with three runs of its own, one in the fifth and two in the sixth inning.
Atascadero scored another run in the top of the seventh inning to take a 4-3 lead, but Arroyo Grande (10-4, 4-3 PAC 8) answered back with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Atascadero (10-6, 5-2 PAC 8) scored in the top of the ninth to win.
San Luis Obispo 12, St. Joseph 1
SLO High freshman Xiao Gin struck out eight batters and went 2 for 4 with two RBI from the plate in a win over St. Joseph. Sophomore Samantha Gibbs was 3 for 4 with two RBI, and Bridgete Danninger also had three RBI for the Tigers.
BASEBALL Paso Robles 4, St. Joseph 1
Ryan Harvel pitched five shut-out innings and Nolan Binkele earned the save with two innings of work in relief, as the Paso Robles High School baseball team defeated St. Joseph.
Offensively for the Bearcats, Dylan Lewis and Will Stround each had RBI doubles, and Mark Armstrong a run-scoring single. The Bearcats (9-1 PAC 8) play at St. Joseph on Wednesday before returning home Thursday to finish the series.
Arroyo Grande 16, St. Joseph 2
The doubles team of Tyler Tencati and Austin Bricker swept 6-0, 6-0, 6-0 and remains undefeated in league play this season for the Eagles. Sam Ashbrook also swept in singles, 6-2, 6-3, 6-0.
Arroyo Grande (15-1, 10-0 PAC 8) will play Paso Robles on Thursday.
Paso Robles 17, Pioneer Valley 1
Brysan Pesenti swept 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, and the doubles team of Ryan Stronks and CJ Wilson didn’t dropa a point, winning 6-0, 6-0, 6-0. Albert Lara and Christian Anaya teamed up to win 6-2, 6-1, 6-0.
San Luis Obispo 15, Righetti 3
All three doubles teams swept for the Tigers. Alex Hasley and Cole Westwood won 6-0, 6-2, 6-0. The tandem of Kannan Freyaldenhoven and Sid Alwen also won, 6-1, 6-0, 6-0.
San Luis Obispo is 11-5 and 10-1 in the PAC 8.
Templeton 14, Morro Bay 4
All three doubles teams swept for the Eagles, led by Max Starkman and Ben Glossner, who won 6-0, 6-2, 6-0.
Templeton’s Jackson Hays and Dillon Amadio won 6-2, 6-2, 6-1, and the team of Chris Murray and Patrick Koski won 6-4, 6-1, 6-1. Chaz Darrow swept in singles, 6-3, 6-1, 6-0.
Orcutt Academy 9, Nipomo 9 (79-76)
Nipomo is 7-6 and 5-5 in the LPL. No further stats or information was available.
Arroyo Grande 3, St. Joseph 0
The Eagles swept 25-11, 25-18, 25-11. Jackson Tourdot lead the way with 15 kills and seven aces, and Sasha Blysma had 32 assists and three kills. Jared Loayza added four kills, and Matt Wingerden added six kills and three blocks.
Arroyo Grande (12-0, 9-0 PAC 8) will play Paso Robles on Thursday.
Paso Robles 3, Pioneer Valley 0
The Bearcats swept 25-13, 26-24, 25-18. Ethan Todd had 23 kills and added four aces and 11 digs. Ramon Torres had 42 assists and also added three kills and 14 digs.
Both Todd's kills and Torres' assists were Paso Robles three-set school records, according to coach Drew Nenow.
Micah Canales had 27 digs and four kills, Robert Rojas had 13 digs and four kills, and Hector Arteaga had six kills and eight digs.
The Bearcats improve to 7-6 overall and 5-4 in the PAC 8.
Righetti 404, Mission Prep 501
Righetti’s Ethan Ashbrook shot a 1-under 71 to medal at the Dairy Creek Golf Course. Sydney Haughian led Mission Prep with an 85.
Tribune reporter Scott Middlecamp contributed to this report