HomeBlocksFront-GridBurroughs Softball Eager to Defend Pacific League Title

Burroughs Softball Eager to Defend Pacific League Title

The Burroughs and Burbank high schools’ varsity softball teams are gearing up for the 2024 campaign, aiming to contend for league titles and make their mark in the postseason.


Under the guidance of head coach Doug Nicol, Burroughs emerged as a formidable team the previous season. The Bears secured a share of the Pacific League title with Arcadia, boasting a 9-1 record (24-5 overall). They made a strong playoff run in the CIF Southern Section Division IV, reaching the semifinals but ultimately losing to runner-up Fullerton.

“Our main goal on the field is to win a Pacific League championship. Our preparation began on Sept. 5 when we began our off-season fall strength and conditioning program,” Nicol said. “The girls have been working very hard to prepare themselves physically and we have really gotten stronger and faster because of their commitment to that. The Pacific League is very challenging. … If you want to compete against those teams, you have to prepare hard and be committed to getting stronger and faster, and we have done that.”

Nicol highlighted Burroughs’ depth, emphasizing the quality of all 15 varsity players. Senior captain Phoebe Spangler and senior Gizelle Rangsiyawong lead the team, supported by senior veterans Lily Essakhanian, Eliza Torres, Alyssa Rosales, Skylar Vanole and Emerson Coblentz. Nicol anticipates his seniors to be excellent leaders for the four freshmen on the varsity squad.

“We are counting on all of our seniors to establish that culture and model the work ethic that it takes to be a varsity player in the Burroughs softball program,” Nicol said. “We have a culture that we believe in and work hard to uphold, and the seniors understand their responsibility in being positive role models, on and off the field, to their younger teammates.”

Nicol said he is looking forward to the league matchups against Arcadia, Crescenta Valley and intracity rival Burbank this season. He notes that all three teams have retained their top pitchers, posing a challenge to Burroughs’ goal of securing another league championship.

“What is great about our league is that we have developed some really good rivalries and they are all intense,” Nicol said. “Of course, you have our crosstown rivalry with Burbank. They should be outstanding and with Maddie Kellogg in the circle, they can beat anyone. We also have great rivalries with Arcadia and CV. They will both be very strong this year and it’ll be an incredible challenge to try to repeat [as league champions].”

The Bears secured a season-opening win against Golden Valley High of Santa Clarita. The team will continue with a series of nonleague and tournament games until early March, with Pacific League action kicking off against Arcadia on March 12.


Last year, the Bulldogs fell short of their expectations, finishing tied for fourth in the Pacific League with Muir High of Pasadena, holding a 4-5 record (14-12 overall).

Although Burbank did achieve a postseason berth, they were defeated by Fillmore in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division IV playoffs.

Seniors Breana Tapia, Braelyn Keegan, Belinda Lujano, Abigail Kimmer, Eliza Bowren and Kara Valencia will be tasked with leading the team and guiding the underclassmen to another successful campaign under head coach Melissa Sanchez.

With a season-opening victory against Providence High, there is still work ahead for Burbank. The team will engage in nonleague and tournament games until early March, with Pacific League action starting against Hoover High of Glendale on March 12.

Responses to the Burbank Leader’s softball preview questionnaire were not submitted before the press deadline.

First published in the February 16 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

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