Bears Fall Out of 1st Place With Loss to CV

First published in the March 12 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Both Burroughs and Crescenta Valley High had won the first two Pacific League softball games of the season, and both the Bears and Falcons were riding consecutive shutout streaks of six and four games, respectively. So when the two squads met for the first time this campaign, something had to give.

It was the visiting Falcons who got the best of the Bears, 4-0, keeping their shutout streak intact in the early season showdown at Olive Park on Tuesday afternoon.

“Our big hitters didn’t hit, but the rest of the girls picked them up and that’s exactly what you want. I told them it was a nice team win,” CV coach Joel Curtis said. “The defense was solid and we got timely hits when we needed them.”

Falcon pitcher Perri Derian was dominant in the circle, going the distance for the win. The sophomore scattered four hits, struck out five and set the hosts down in order four times.

Crescenta Valley (7-6 overall record, 3-0 in league) has now won its last five games, all by shutout. Meanwhile, Burroughs (10-3, 2-1) had its 10-game win streak snapped.

“It’s hard to beat a good team when you don’t have many quality at-bats, and we didn’t have many quality at-bats today,” Burroughs coach Doug Nicol said. “I thought that we were hitting [Derian’s] pitches and I don’t think we really had a plan when we went up there a lot. We work on that a lot. I don’t know if the girls were overanxious today; I don’t know if they were nervous or what.”

Senior Kelsey Acosta pitched all seven innings for the Bears, who are ranked No. 7 in the CIF-Southern Section Division IV poll. She struck out three batters and yielding eight hits.

Lily Hinkle led the way at the plate for the Falcons, hitting a triple, a home run and a single in that order. The junior was denied a shot at the cycle when Nicol astutely walked her intentionally in the sixth inning with one on base. Hinkle also scored three runs and played a solid centerfield on defense.

Coming into the contest, Burroughs had not been scored on in 34 innings, but that came to a quick end against Crescenta Valley. Hinkle led off the contest with a triple into left field. Jaiden Sabelis followed with a single to drive her in before the Bears had recorded an out. It would turn out to be the only run the visitors would need.

After Acosta struck out the first two batters of the bottom of the second inning, Hinkle came up again. The junior clobbered the first pitch she saw on a line well over the centerfielder’s head, allowing her to circle the bases and double the advantage.

The Falcons got some insurance by scoring twice in the fifth inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Bears mounted a two-out rally. Stevie Dabbadie hit an infield single. Kiley Christopher followed with a single to put runners on the corners, but Derian induced a fly ball to end the threat and the game.

Burroughs’ other two hits were a second-inning single by Gigi Garcia and a single by Dabbadie to lead off the bottom of the fifth.

The teams will face each other two more times this season.

“We got [metaphorically] punched in the face today a little bit and we haven’t been punched in the face in a long time,” Nicol said. “We had six shutouts in a row, then someone punched us in the face today and we didn’t answer. I would expect next time to punch them back in the face.”