The CIF-Southern Section released its playoff pairings for baseball and softball Monday. Let’s take a team-by-team look at the SLO County squads that will play in the postseason beginning this week.
San Luis Obsipo
(24-6, 19-2 PAC 8)
The Tigers are firing on all cylinders right now, coming off their first league title since 2011. Heading into the playoffs, San Luis Obsipo is riding a nine-game winning streak and averaging more than six runs per game. Though the nine wins came against the bottom three teams in the PAC 8, the offensive numbers are particularly encouraging. The Tigers rely on aces Cooper Benson, Jake Rodgers and Jeremy Jess to get it done on the mound, so if the bats stay hot during the playoffs, the Tigers will be tough to beat.
San Luis Obsipo hosts a first-round, Division 3 playoff game at 3:15 p.m. on Friday against the winner of the Los Altos-Segerstrom game being played on Wednesday.
(19-10, 13-8 PAC 8)
While San Luis Obsipo is hot, Arroyo Grande is backing into the playoffs on a two-game losing streak. But the Eagles started a bunch of seniors who normally don’t start in Friday’s season-ending 13-1 loss to St. Joseph, so don’t read too much into it. Pay more attention to the play of stud pitcher Jake Shusterich. He’s got a 1.90 ERA on the season and a 10-0 record.
Shusterich will likely be on the mound Friday when Arroyo Grande makes the 400-mile round trip to play Valle Vista League champs San Dimas High (14-12, 12-3 Valle Vista) just outside of Los Angeles at 3:15 p.m.
(19-11, 13-8 PAC 8)
Paso Robles needed a win in its final regular season game against Righetti to beat out the Warriors for a third-place spot in the PAC 8. The Bearcats did so in impressive fashion. Paso Robles dropped a baker’s dozen on Righetti on Friday to win 13-2 and secure a home wild-card playoff game.
Paso Robles will host Cathedral (9-18, 5-7 Del Rey) on Wednesday at 3:15 p.m., while Righetti has to go on the road to Garden Grove (14-10, 10-5 league) near Anaheim.
The Bearcats have won 12 of their past 15 games and likely will go with ace Nolan Binkele who has a 7-4 record and a 1.25 ERA on the mound this season.
(8-11, 6-0 Coast Valley)
Coast Union dominated the Coast Valley League and were rewarded with a first-round home game in the Division 7 playoffs.
Led by senior Lane Sutherland (.435 batting average) and sophomore Chase Volz on the mound (6-3, 1.12 ERA), the Broncos will take on Santa Clarita Valley International at 3:15 p.m. on Friday.
(17-6-1, 11-3 Los Padres)
The Eagles rode freshman pitcher Ashley Daugherty all the way to a second-place finish in the league and a home game in the first round of the Division 5 CIF-Southern Section playoffs.
Daugherty (0.50 ERA) beat out 138 other pitchers by striking out an unbelievable 262 batters this season, 94 more than anyone else in Division 5. She also leads the team in hitting with a .429 batting average.
The Eagles will host Pomona Catholic (15-11, 9-3 Camino Real) at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
(16-9, 10-2 PAC 8)
The sluggers of Atascadero led the Greyhounds to a second-place finish in the PAC 8. Their top hitters — junior Megan McClain, senior Ally Reagan and senior Sally Bowles — combined for 18 home runs this season.
Bowles (12-4, 2.16 ERA) can sling it on the mound, too.
Atascadero will travel to play Coastal Canyon League runner-up Camarillo (19-6-1, 9-3 CCL) at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday for a Division 2 playoff game.
(16-9, 7-5 PAC 8)
Arroyo Grande has won three of its past four games heading into the postseason. With one of the best offenses in the PAC 8, the Eagles will look to advance further than last year — when the team was bounced in the second round by Mission Viejo.
The Eagles will need all the offense they can get when they face Freeway League champions La Habra (26-1, 10-0 Freeway).
Arroyo Grande will look to break La Habra’s 23-game winning streak when the teams meet at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday.
San Luis Obsipo
(11-12-1, 7-5 PAC 8)
San Luis Obsipo made the playoffs for the first time since 2008 with a fourth-place finish in the PAC 8.
The Tigers were led by Marissa Piatt’s league-leading .551 batting average and Sami Good’s league-leading 124 strikeouts.
San Luis Obsipo will look to move its four-game winning streak to five when the team travels to Yucaipa on Thursday for a 3:15 p.m. game.
(14-11, 8-6 Los Padres)
Nipomo won two of its past three games, including a big win over Los Padres League champion Lompoc to finish in the fourth and final playoff spot.
The Titans will look toward Gennae Abatti (six home runs) and pitcher Hope Goodall (115 strikeouts) for a chance to play St. Bonaventure in the first round on Thursday.
In Nipomo’s Divison 5 wild card playoff game, the team will face Bell Gardens on Tuesday at 3:15 p.m.
(13-6, 10-0 Coast Valley)
Broncos pitcher Ellie Magnuson had herself one heck of a season. The senior did not allow an earned run, threw three no-hitters and one perfect game, and finished with a 9-0 record.
Magnuson also had plenty of help, too. Coast Union’s team batting average was .498.
The reward for the team’s dominating season comes in the form of a Division 7 home playoff game at 3:15 p.m on Thursday against the winner of the Orangewood Academy-Lennox Academy wild-card game.