High School Sports

Eagles, Greyhounds ready for softball showdown

One PAC 7 softball team is ranked and is yet to lose in league play. Another boasts a sophomore putting up some of the best numbers in the state.

They’ll meet at 4 p.m. today when Atascadero High visits Arroyo Grande for a showdown likely loaded with league title implications.

“It’ll be a game to just kind of prove we can continue through the rest of league (successfully),” Greyhounds coach Kara Ferrell said. “It’s a big turning point for our season, I think. Arroyo Grande’s a great team, and it should definitely be a good matchup.”

Atascadero (17-4, 5-0), voted No. 7 in Monday’s CIF-Southern Section Division 3 poll, has five players — Lauryn Cooper, Katie Agostini, Marissa McClain, Brigit Godfrey and Laura Gorman — batting at least .400.

Meanwhile, junior Jill Johnson has been the Greyhounds’ ace, as she carried a perfect ERA through the first two weeks of the season. Arguably her signature game of the year came in a 1-0 win over defending league champion Righetti on March 23 when she pitched all 15 innings, collecting 18 strikeouts.

“She’s definitely a leader on this team,” Ferrell said of Johnson, an all-PAC 7 first-team honoree as a sophomore. “We ask a lot of her, and she just rises to the occasion and handles it.”

Johnson’s counterpart today is no slouch, either, as Eagles sophomore Jill Compton’s 210 strikeouts rank seventh in the state.

“I had high hopes for our pitching staff in general,” Arroyo Grande coach Kristin Ciecek said, “but there’s no way I could’ve predicted 200 strikeouts at this point of the season.”

Compton is steadily rewriting Arroyo Grande history, as she tossed a no-hitter in a win over Burroughs of Burbank on March 20, struck out a school-record 26 batters in a 12-inning win over San Luis Obispo on March 23 and pitched a perfect game against Kerman on April 8. Compton has also led the Eagles (13-6, 4-1) at the plate, batting .293, while Moriah Vargas is close behind at .275 with team highs of nine runs scored and eight RBI.

“I think we match up pretty well,” Ciecek said. “We both have really talented pitching, so it may just come down to who gets the key hits.”

Pioneer Valley 4, Mission Prep 2The Royals tied the nonleague Monday game in the bottom of the fourth inning with consecutive singles by Cat Hall, Kyra Joseph and Ally Kersthold, but gave up three runs in the top of the sixth.

Sadie Casacca had a triple for Mission Prep (5-6).

BOYS GOLFRighetti 365, Arroyo Grande 393Mitch Martin led the Eagles by carding a 75 at Cypress Ridge on Monday, followed by Doug Merrin and Matt McAustin, each of whom added a 76.

Reilly McMahon and MacGregor Hoobery shared medalist honors for Righetti, each shooting a 71.

BENCHES-CLEARING INCIDENT RESULTS IN BASEBALL FORFEITSNipomo and San Luis Obispo have each forfeited their games this afternoon in light of a benches-clearing altercation that occurred between the two Friday. Atascadero was set to host San Luis Obispo but instead will be given the win, while Arroyo Grande was the beneficiary of the Titans’ forfeit.

The forfeits are customary per Southern Section rules following such team-wide altercations. Friday’s incident started with a play at second base, San Luis Obispo athletic director Vic Ecklund said, resulting in a shoving match that led to both teams leaving their dugouts en masse.

Umpires and coaches were then able to restore order, with the Tigers going on to win 13-3. No punches were thrown, Ecklund said.

ATASCADERO, NORTH COUNTY CHRISTIAN HONORED FOR SPORTSMANSHIPTwo San Luis Obispo County schools represented their leagues Monday when the Southern Section announced its 28th annual sportsmanship awards.

Atascadero won on behalf of the PAC 7 while North County Christian won for the Coast Valley League. Members of each league determined the winners. Santa Maria represented the Los Padres League.