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Pitch Perfect


Senior Jaiden Ralston continues her softball career with a D1 scholarship for pitching

Senior Jaiden Ralston is ending her final season as a Bearcat on a bittersweet note: her high school career has come to an end, but her college career is just beginning. Ralston has been playing softball since she was four years old, and by the age of 10 she was playing on a Paso travel team. “I play softball because I love the game, I love the energy it brings, and I love the level of competition among teammates and the game itself,” Ralston said.

Ralston is committed to Iowa State University for pitching on their D1 softball team. She finished her senior year with 242 strikeouts, earned runs allowed at .28, and most strikeouts in a game at 20 strikeouts. She was selected to be the PRHS Player of the Game twice this season.

At the age of 11 she started playing for the California Suncats travel team in San Jose, and has been playing there since. Ralston was one of the few who made varsity her freshman year while continuing to impress with her ability as a pitcher. This is in no small part due to the dedication she shows to her sport on and off the field. She practices two hours a day five days a week during the regular high school season, and five hours every sunday for her travel team.

When she is not playing for the high school team –which placed first in Mountain League and took the league title on their senior night- she practices eight hours on Saturdays and four hours during the week.

“This is only counting the practices with my team. I spend countless hours pitching and hitting on my own time as well,”she said .

Her stats reflect her skill and commitment to softball and pitching: she has accumulated a total of 476 strikeouts, 307 innings pitched and an opponent batting average of .131 throughout her years on varsity.

Senior Emma Phillips has been catching and playing with Ralston for nine years, and made varsity with her their freshman year. “Playing with Ralston helps me focus more on the other players on the field since I know I don’t have to worry about her pitching, and I know she can get the job done at the plate,” Phillips said about catching for Jaiden.

“Her pitching gives our team an advantage over the other teams in our league because we have to think more about offense with her having our backs in defense,” Phillips said.

While her senior night was filled with watery laughs and teary smiles, she looks forward to starting her college softball career.

“Playing in college will be a dream come true. I have grown up wanting to play college softball since I was 4 years old. I have finally made my dreams a reality and I could not be more proud of myself. Playing and pitching in college is the biggest accomplishment and success in my sports career.”

Ralston hugs her catcher after striking out the last batter of the game at Paso High softball field
Ralston whips the ball around to pitch to the opposing batter at Paso Highschool softball field
Ralston winds up to pitch to the opposing batter at Paso Highschool softball field
Ralston watches her pitch go into the strike zone after she released the ball at Paso Highschool softball field
Ralston swings and hits the ball for a base hit at Paso Highschool softball field

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