12U Bearcats Girls Softball Team takes state championship
After a loss to the Five Cities softball team in the first round of the state championship tournament in San Diego, the Paso Robles 12U Bearcats softball team went on to win eight games in a row, including two against the undefeated Los Gatos team, July 11 to 13. The 12U teams are for girls 11- to 12-years-old.
“They are the top California team for the C division,” Paso Robles Softball League outgoing President Kari Wagner said. “It’s a big deal. They played against teams from all over the state.”
The team that won the state championships was made of 13 girls from the five 12U Paso Robles teams. Wagner said that tryouts for the all-star team were held in early May, just after the regular season ended, and that the girls chosen for the team are the “cream of the crop.”
The team’s coach, Burk Baker, coached a 12U team during the regular season and the 12U all-star team. He started coaching girls softball when his daughter, now 29, was 9 years old. His youngest daughter plays in the 12U team. He’s coached 12U for the last two years; before that he coached 10U. He said he moved up as his daughter moved up. His daughter was also one of the girls on the All-Star team.
He said that besides that girls becoming state champions, the highlight of the tournament was the girls bouncing back after the initial loss in the tournament and then winning eight games in a row. They played as many as four games in a day.
“It was a big accomplishment for the girls,” Baker said. “It was a lot of fun.” He also noted that Paso Robles has an outstanding group of coaches.
The state championship tournament was part of the Junior Olympics program and all the girls received gold medals. In 2013, Baker said the girls came home with silver medals for getting second place.
The 8U girls softball team took third place at the Central Coast California 8U Championships in Orcutt the same weekend. They lost to Santa Maria in the championship game, which required them to play for second place and lost to Sanger 3-2. Brooklyn Pesenti (8U) took first in the Homerun Derby at the 8U championships, beating out move than 20 other girls.
Paso Robles Bearcats 12U All Star Team roster
California State Games 2014 C-Champions
- Blair Baker – First Base
- Brooke Bigelow – Catcher
- Naveah Hinton – Outfield
- Madison Homen – Outfield
- Brooke Milder – Short Stop
- Sophie Prieto – Third Base
- Liv Rambo – Outfield
- Amanda Snowbarger – Pitcher
- Camryn Stout – Pitcher
- Becca Stroud – Second Base
- Hannah Tibbetts – Second Base/Outfield
- Kirra Vargas – Outfield
2014 game scores
- Five Cities 3 – Paso 2
- Paso 6 – Woodland 0
- Paso 5 – Chowchilla 3
- Paso 7 – Santa Ynez 3
- Paso 4 – San Mateo 3
- Paso 9 – Five Cities 1
- Paso 6 – San Jose 3
- Paso 14 – Los Gatos 2
- Paso 12 – Los Gatos 4