This week’s marquee showdown on the prep sports scene is happening on the softball field with one week left to go in the regular season.
On Tuesday, the first-place SLO High (18-6, 10-2 PAC 8) is traveling 18 miles south to Arroyo Grande to take on the second-place Eagles (17-6, 9-3 PAC 8).
SLO High all but locked up at least a share of the PAC 8 crown last week with a pair of run-rule wins that included a perfect game by Tigers freshman pitcher Xiao Gin against Pioneer Valley and a two-home run game by senior Marissa Piatt against Mission Prep.
Arroyo Grande had a big win 4-1 win against Paso Robles last Tuesday, followed by a 11-7 win over Pioneer Valley, to position itself for a shot at the title coming into Tuesday.
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If SLO High wins, all it would need to do is beat winless St. Joseph to lock up the league title. If Arroyo Grande wins, it would still need to beat Atascadero — one of three teams along with Paso Robles and Righetti (all 8-4 PAC 8) fighting for the final two playoff spots — on Wednesday to have a chance at being co-league champs.
In the Los Padres League, Templeton softball seized control of first place with a 4-0 win over Cabrillo on Friday. Ashley Daugherty put up dazzling numbers again, striking out 18 batters and giving him just two hits in the win. It would be a huge surprise if Templeton (14-6, 10-2 Los Padres) didn’t win the leauge championship. Its final regular season games this week come against Orcutt Academy (1-11 Los Padres) and Nipomo (4-8 Los Padres).
The SLO High girls swim team came from behind to upset Arroyo Grande at the PAC 8 Finals at Sinsheimer Pool on Friday. SLO High was trailing Arroyo Grande until the final two events and ended up winning 547.5 to 523. SLO High junior Adelynn Peterson won both the 100 fly and 100 back with CIF consideration times.
Arroyo Grande senior Hannah Parson set two meet records — the 50 freestyle (24.12) and the 100 freestyle (52.96). The Paso Robles girls team finished third in the team event.
On the boys side, Arroyo Grande won seven of the 12 events but ended up finishing second behind Righetti. LSU signee and 2016 Swimmer of the Year Trent Schachter won two events and is seeded 7th in the 100 fly and 9th in 100 backstroke in the CIF-SS Division 2 Championships this week at the Riverside Aquatics Complex.
In the Los Padres League finals at Paul Nelson Pool in Santa Maria, the Nipomo boys swim team beat out seven other schools to win a league title. Wyatt Marsalek (200 freestyle), Austin Aguirre (200 IM), Yale Yun (50 butterfly) and Peyton Kiunke (50 freestyle, 100 freestyle) all had wins for the Titans.
Templeton High standout Amanda Wilson won the 100 freestyle (52.89) and the 100 butterfly (57.00) in the LPL girls finals. Wilson, who finished in third place last year in the 100 butterfly at the CIF-Southern Section Division 3 Championships as a junior, is looking to make it to the CIF State Finals in the last high school season.
Two series last week made an already jumbled PAC 8 baseball race even more interesting entering the final week.
After losing an exciting opening game, Righetti won the next two to win its series over Paso Robles (2-1) to move into a tie for first place. Atascadero also lost a game to a surging SLO High team before winning the next two — 4-2 in extra innings on Wednesday then 11-0 on Friday — to remain in the fourth and final playoff spot.
Righetti (21-6, 15-3 PAC 8) has the easier road to a PAC 8 title with three games this week coming against seventh-place Mission Prep while Paso Robles (20-7, 15-3 PAC 8) goes against third-place Arroyo Grande.
With two games coming up for Atascadero against last-place Pioneer Valley, it appears its series win over SLO High last week will secure a playoff spot for the Greyhouds. SLO High can still sneak into the playoffs if Paso Robles sweeps Arroyo Grande and the Tigers can sweep St. Joseph.
Templeton’s Colby Grey and SLO High’s Zach Hilty won league singles titles last week.
Hilty defeated Sam Ashbrook from Arroyo Grande (6-0, 6-1) to win the PAC 8 singles title while Grey defeated Cedrick Kwon of Cabrillo (6-0, 6-0) to win the Los Padres League singles title. They both move on to the CIF-Southern Section Individual tournament on May 25.
Tyler Tencati and Austin Bricker defeated Patrick Angle and Parker Turner (both from Arroyo Grande) 6-4, 6-4 to win the PAC 8 doubles championship. Bricker and Tencati finished out the season with a 38-0 record.
North County Signings
Atascadero senior distance runner Ellie Nisbet on Friday signed her National Letter of Intent with UCSB. The day before, Nisbet ran a personal best 5:04.52 in the 1,600-meter event to finish in second place at the PAC 8 Championships.
Atascadero senior quarterback Carson Rinkenberger will sign his NLI on Tuesday afternoon to play football at Whittier College. Rinkenberger had a breakout season last year, throwing for over 200 yards per game and 21 touchdowns.
Eight Paso Robles High athletes will be honored at a signing ceremony on Thursday at 3:15 p.m. The athletes include the following:
▪ Luis Armendariz, scholarship cross country, Cal Poly
▪ Madison Morrison, scholarship beach volleyball, Westmont
▪ Gabrielle Morrison, scholarship volleyball, Vanguard
▪ Seth Mathysse, baseball, Redlands
▪ Steven Schouten, football, Humboldt State