By Austin Green
After scoring 10 or more runs in each of their five consecutive victories entering Thursday, John Burroughs High School’s win streak — and their hot hitting — came to a halt as the Bears were shut out, 3-0, at home by Arcadia.
Tiara Westbrook threw a complete game shutout for the Apaches, allowing only two hits and four baserunners over her seven innings of work.
That left zero margin for error for Burroughs starter Kelsey Acosta, who also pitched well in a complete-game effort. But Acosta was done in by one big inning for Arcadia. She allowed back-to-back bloop singles with one out in the fifth, hit the next batter to load the bases, and gave up the game’s first run on a sacrifice fly from Arcadia shortstop Morgan Howey. The next batter, center fielder Averi Wong, hit a two-run triple over the outstretched glove of Kaitlyn Cisneros, scoring two more.
Acosta got out of the inning after retiring the next batter and also worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh to keep her team within striking distance. She finished with three runs allowed on seven hits, one walk and four strikeouts over seven innings.
“She doesn’t let anything get to her,” Burroughs head coach Doug Nicols said. “If you see her on the mound, you see how she doesn’t get affected, she doesn’t get stretched, she doesn’t freak out. It was a couple of bloop hits, and then they hit one hard. You never know; it could have gone either way.”
Burroughs had chances to mount rallies in the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth, second baseman Olivia Kam reached base when her hard-hit ground ball went through Howey’s legs. Kam then stole second as Westbrook struck out catcher Rachel Little, then took third on a ball in the dirt. However, first baseman Isabella Scozzola’s line drive was tracked down in right field by Arcadia’s Isabella Aspeitia, one of several nice defensive plays Aspeitia made on Thursday, ending the inning.
Shortstop Alyssa Valenzuela singled with two outs in the seventh to keep Burroughs’ hopes alive, but Dyani Del Castillo lined one right at Aspeitia to end the game.
“You gotta give [Arcadia] credit,” Nicols said. “Sometimes you just have to tip your hat to the other team. I think we have the best hitting team in the league, I really do. And so for [Westbrook] to shut us out, we’ve never been shut out like that. I mean, just dominated.”
Arcadia’s win gave them the sweep of the season series against Burroughs, with the Apaches having beaten the Bears at home on April 20. That gives Arcadia an inside track on a top-two finish in the Pacific League. Burroughs is now two games back of the Apaches in the league standings, while Arcadia moves into a tie for first place with Crescenta Valley, which recently suffered its first league loss to Burbank.
Burroughs’ best chance to move up in the standings before the end of the regular season will come next Tuesday at Crescenta Valley, the only other Pacific League team to shut the Bears out this season. Nicols hopes his players can use the loss against Arcadia to improve their approach at the plate in time for another dominant pitching staff in CV’s.
“I think our girls need to do a better job of adjusting when the other pitcher [is locked in],” Nicols said. “Instead of hitting her pitches, [we should be] hitting our pitches, and I thought we got into a little bit of a bad habit in the middle of the game of, early in the count, going for her pitches and not making [Westbrook] work.”
Burroughs is 8-8 overall and 7-3 in Pacific League play with four games remaining in the regular season.