An improbable seventh inning was the Burbank High softball team’s undoing in a 4-3 Pacific League loss to host Glendale on Tuesday and ended an 18-game losing streak to the Bulldogs.
Trailing 3-1 entering the seventh, the Nitros sent seven batters to the plate against sophomore pitcher Allie Benson, who worked seven innings for the first time in her career.
“She’s a young pitcher, but I don’t think necessarily it was her fault,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said. “If we had made a clean relay, it would have kept her [Alex Howard] at second base, but we didn’t.”
Delaney went on: “The reason that we lost was we didn’t execute. They’re [Glendale] a good ball club. We have a young team. The game is going to slow down for them.”
Benson retired the first batter but walked senior Jordan Lousararian, who earned the victory after toiling seven innings and allowing eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks.
Junior Sammy Fabian, who reached base four times that included a walk, being hit with a pitch and a double, singled to center field and moved to second when sophomore Esme Piedra reached on a fielder’s choice.
Fabian extended her hitting streak to 54 games and can improve on that Thursday when the Nitros visit Burbank.
Howard, a senior, then lined a double to right field that plated the two runners and tied the game at 3-3.
On the hit Howard advanced to third base on an errant throw and there was some grumbling on the Glendale sideline that Howard was interfered with near second base.
Benson then walked junior Tiffany Bartamian before allowing an infield hit to senior Grace Sinisterra for the game-winner.
“I was able to block out all the noise [in the seventh inning],” said Benson, who gave up six hits with three walks and three strikeouts. “It’s a good thing my teammates are behind me and supporting me.”
When asked how will she move on from this loss, Benson said it’s going to help her.
“I’m going to use this as motivation the next time I pitch,” she said.
For most of the contest the Bulldogs (5-11 and 2-1 in league) were in control as they led 3-0 until the Nitros (7-4 and 1-2 in league) scored a run in the sixth when with two out, Sinisterra reached base on an infield hit and crossed the plate on a triple to right center by senior Claire Smith.
Neither team did much in the first two innings, but that changed in the third when senior Julia Duarte tripled to left field and scored when freshman Emily Monterrey reached base on an error.
It became 2-0 in the next frame when junior Emma Kerr doubled to left field, went to third base on senior Cailey Stevenson’s infield hit and scored when freshman Alex Davis reached on a fielder’s choice.
In the top of the sixth the Bulldogs added a run when senior Amber Ingram singled to left field to lead off the inning and scored on a sacrifice fly by Duarte.