Three standout athletes from San Luis Obispo County landed spots on this year’s CIF-Southern Section softball teams, including two heading to Division I colleges with the other likely to be a top prospect heading into next season.
Atascadero High senior pitcher Jessie Hufstetler and Paso Robles senior shortstop Kellie Reynolds both made the Division 3 team, while Nipomo junior pitcher Courtney Cuzick was named to the Division 5 team.
All three led their teams to the postseason.
Cuzick, who has Division I college potential, guided Nipomo to the Division 5 semifinals — a first for the Titans, who hadn’t won a playoff game prior to this season. The right-hander had a 0.79 ERA with 305 strikeouts in 1772⁄3 innings. She also batted .487 with 38 hits, 21 RBI, 11 doubles, three triples and three home runs.
Besides winning back-to-back Los Padres League titles this season, Nipomo (19-10) reached the division semifinals, where the Titans fell 1-0 to eventual two-time defending champion La Cañada.
Hufstetler, a San Jose State signee, didn’t become a true pitcher until this season and guided Atascadero to an unforgettable 25-4 run, which began with 16 consecutive wins. The Greyhounds won their Division 3 playoff opener with a 5-2 victory over Paramount after Hufstetler hit a three-run, walk-off home run.
She batted .506 with 42 hits, 33 RBI, 10 doubles, two triples and a county-best seven homers.
Before this season, Hufstetler spent little time in the circle. She jumped into the starting pitcher role this season after standout Jill Johnson graduated. Hufstetler had a 1.18 ERA with 158 strikeouts in 154 innings.
Reynolds, who’s headed to Stony Brook, held down the Paso Robles infield with a .990 fielding percentage. She also batted .480 with 47 hits, 14 RBI, seven doubles and one triple. She was 17 for 17 on stolen bases.
The Bearcats (13-11, 5-7 PAC 7) fell 2-1 to Oak Park in a Division 3 wild-card game.
SLO thrower signs with UC Irvine
Bridget Devaney, a standout thrower at San Luis Obispo, signed her National Letter of Intent on Monday with the UC Irvine track and field team.
Devaney’s personal-best throw in the discus is 131 feet, 11 inches — the fourth-best mark in Tigers history. Her top mark in the shot put is 38-1, fifth all-time at San Luis Obispo. She was also a nine-letter varsity athlete in volleyball, girls soccer and track and field.
Blues pile up hits, runs in win
The San Luis Obispo Blues had 14 hits and put together a five-run second inning to easily run away with a 12-4 win over the Orange County Pioneers in a California Collegiate League summer baseball game on Tuesday night at JSerra High in San Juan Capistrano.
After jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the second inning, the Blues (6-4, 4-2 CCL) compiled seven more runs in the final innings.
Will Maddox, Ryan Walker, Matt Shortall, Daniel Mengden, Trey Porter and Austin Grisham each had two hits — with Mengden finishing with two home runs and three RBI and Maddox collecting four RBI.
Starter John Tiedemann and four other Blues pitchers combined to allow seven hits and shut out hold the Pioneers for six innings.
Late Monday night, the Blues outlasted Team Vegas 9-8 in the three-game series finale.
Rattlers’ winning streak snapped
Trevor Nathanson hit a ninth-inning home run, but it wasn’t enough to save the San Luis Obispo Rattlers in a 4-1 loss to the Santa Barbara Foresters to snap a six-game winning streak in a summer collegiate baseball game at UC Santa Barbara.
The Rattlers (8-3) allowed two home runs and 11 hits while falling behind 3-0 in the fifth inning.
Steven Lozier added a double for San Luis Obispo.