Tag Archives: Pacific League

Burroughs Baseball Lose Thriller, 1-0, To Crescenta Valley

By Rick Assad


Even by high school baseball standards, Burroughs pitcher Kyle Nicol doesn’t throw very hard.

Yet the crafty side-arm tossing right-hander has found ways to get batters out and win games.

On Friday night at Stengel Field and facing always-tough Crescenta Valley, Nicol allowed seven singles in six and two-third innings including Ryan Lynch’s game-winning blooper into left center in the seventh that scored Chuck Weinmann, who walked, stole second base that gave the Falcons a 1-0 Pacific League victory.

“This was a tough game to lose,” said Nicol, who worked a perfect third, fourth and fifth inning. “I just wanted to keep throwing zeroes on the board. Everything was working tonight. They only had a few solid hits off me. But stuff happens.”

Nicol isn’t tall at 5-foot-8 and weighs 150 pounds, but is able to keep hitters off balance.

“I rely on movement and hitting my spots,” Nicol explained of his success that included a 1-0 victory over Harvard-Westlake in the title game of the prestigious Easton Tournament.

Three days earlier, the host Indians outlasted Crescenta Valley 13-8, but no such slugfest took place on this brisk evening.

The Falcons pulled into first place in the league with a 9-1 mark and are 17-6 overall.

“He did everything that he had to,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said of Nicol, who will be playing baseball for Cal State Northridge. “I expected a low scoring game.”

The Indians, who are tied with Arcadia for second place in the league, managed four hits off winning pitcher Trevor Beer, who struck out four, walked two with a hit batter.

The game resembled a CIF Southern Section playoff encounter as every pitch was filled with tension and four combined errors were made with the Falcons committing three.

“You always want to play tough teams and Crescenta Valley is very good,” Sherwood said. “You wish every game was like this.”

Will Smiley and Scott Vinceri each had two hits for the Falcons, while Tanner Whitlock delivered a pair of singles for the Indians.

It’s not that the Indians (15-3 and 8-2 in league) didn’t have base runners, they did including the sixth inning when the bases were filled.

In the inning, six batters went to the plate as Randy Catlett led off with an infield hit. Gabriel Pellot came in as a pinch runner and moved all the way to third base, but couldn’t score.

Jason Whaley, who walked, also advanced to third base, but once again, couldn’t cross the plate.

In the seventh inning, Whitlock walked with one out and went to second base on an error, but Mitch Lefevre flied to left fielder Chuck Weinmann and designated hitter Riley Hooper bounced to Lynch, the shortstop.

In the first inning, Omar Tejeda singled to right center with two out and moved to second base on an error, but was left stranded when Jonathan Max fanned.

With one out in the second inning, Whitlock’s base hit to left was followed by Lefevre striking out and Hooper lifting a fly ball to Jamie Blank in right field.

Tejeda was nicked with a pitch in the fourth inning, but Max bounced into a force out. Max went second base on a wild pitch and became the second out which was followed by Nathan Palafox grounding out.

In the fifth, Whitlock singled to right center to open the frame, stole second base and moved to third on Hooper’s grounder. Whitlock was the third out after trying to score on a passed ball.

The Falcons also had scoring opportunities in the first inning when Blank, Vinceri and Smiley all singled, but Nicol got designated hitter Anthony Russo to ground out to first baseman Palafox.

Crescenta Valley also had a runner at third base in Ryan Malloy, who singled in the second inning, but failed to score when Nicol, who struck out four with one walk, induced Lynch and Nico Arrendondo to ground out.

The Falcons saw Vinceri single with one out in the sixth. William Rees became the pinch runner and advanced to second base on Smiley’s hit, but Max Meyer lined into a double play that ended the threat.

Burroughs Softball Knocks Off Crescenta Valley, 4-1

By Rick Assad

Maybe first inning jitters were at work as Burroughs High star pitcher Presley Miraglia gave up a run in the top of the first to Crescenta Valley, but that was the only tally as the Indians remained unbeaten in Pacific League play after walking away with a 4-1 victory on Tuesday afternoon at Olive Park.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Indians accounted for six hits and remain undefeated in Pacific League play. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The teams will meet at Crescenta Valley for a rematch on Thursday with a 3:30 p.m. start.

“We knew that it was going to be that kind of game,” Burroughs coach Doug Nicol said. “We’re going to have another tough game on Thursday.”

Miraglia began the first frame by striking out Jessica Yzaguirre and Kendall Ebert, but then allowed a single to left field by Syndee Wells.

Wells stole second base and advanced to third base on a base hit to left field by Alyssa Hernandez.

Wells scored on an error as the Falcons (12-7 and 8-1 in league) moved ahead 1-0. Miraglia ended the inning by striking out Paige Baker.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Presley Miraglia allowed four hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks as the Indians defeated Crescenta Valley, 4-1. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

“I was kind of nervous to begin the game knowing what it meant,” said Miraglia, who gave up four hits with 10 strikeouts and no walks across seven innings. “After we scored [in the bottom half], I just tried to relax and focus on pitching and hitting my spots.”

Miraglia worked a perfect second inning and fanned Peyton Hause and Marissa Gutierrez.

A 1-2-3 fourth inning followed as Miraglia struck out Alyssa Hernandez and Hause, and worked another perfect frame, the fifth, as she whiffed Gutierrez.

Miraglia then fanned Hause and Taylor Hoogenhuizen, the losing pitcher who surrendered six hits with two walks in six innings, in the seventh inning.

The Indians (16-4 and 9-0 in league) evened it at 1-1 in the bottom of the first inning when Kaitlin Okimoto singled to left center with two out.

Okimoto moved to second base on an infield hit by Miraglia and crossed the plate when Brianna Johnson rifled a single to left center.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs Coach Doug Nicol is a stickler for fundamentals. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Johnson, who plays third base and has a rifle arm, was instrumental in fielding several bunts that were turned into outs.

“We practice that every day and it becomes routine,” said Johnson, who committed an uncharacteristic throwing error in the third inning. “I’m pretty quick and I try to make the throw quick.”

Three innings later, the Indians struck for two runs to make it 3-1 and were helped out by an error on the center fielder.

Johnson began the frame by walking and then took second base on a hit to right center by Isabel Frias.

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Defense was a key to the Indians’ win versus the Falcons. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

With two down, Brianna Devellano then lofted a ball to shallow center field that clanked off the fielder’s glove as both runners scored.

Hannah Talavera also singled to center field in the inning, but was left stranded when Devellano was out at the plate.

The Indians added an insurance run in the fifth inning when Okimoto lined a tremendous shot to left center that sailed over Yzaguirre’s head for a home run to make it 4-1.

“I expected this meeting to be a tough, competitive game,” Okimoto said. “I think that we have real good chemistry and that helps.”

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs’ offense made the most of its scoring opportunities. (Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs Softball Cruises To 11-1 Blitz Over Arcadia

By Rick Assad


It began innocently enough as Hannah Talavera lined to center field and Lauren Lopez lined to shortstop.

What followed was a parade of a dozen players coming to bat with nine reaching base via a base hit as the Burroughs High softball team scored 10 runs en route to a mercy-ruled 11-1 Pacific League win over visiting Arcadia on Thursday at Olive Park.

The next batter was Kaitlin Okimoto, who launched a solo shot over the right fielder’s head for a home run as the Indians (15-4 and 8-0 in league) pulled ahead 1-0.

Presley Miraglia then walked while Brianna Johnson singled to center field. Isabel Frias drove in a run after reaching base on an infield hit.

Amanda Flores singled to right field for a run batted in and Destiny Velasquez (two hits) slapped a base hit up the middle for a run.

Alise Archuleta had a run-scoring infield hit while Talavera walked, which was followed by Lopez’s two-run single to right field.

Okimoto drilled a line-drive to left center for a home run that brought in three runs while Miraglia singled to center field.

“I like to play a close, competitive game,” Okimoto said. “If it’s too one-sided, sometimes you can lose your focus. You don’t want to do that. It’s always nice when you have a lead that’s more than a few runs, though.”

The inning finally concluded with Johnson popping up to the second baseman.

“With a big lead you can lose your edge,” Burroughs coach Doug Nicol said. “We want to be challenged. We’re going to be challenged next week when we play Crescenta Valley.”

Because of the 10-0 lead, Miraglia went two innings as the right-hander worked a perfect first and second inning.

Miraglia struck out two and didn’t allow a walk and was replaced by Mia Storer, who went three frames and was credited with the victory.

Storer surrendered two hits and one run with five strikeouts and three walks.

Storer retired the side 1-2-3 in the third inning and fanned two batters, and struck out two more in the fourth inning while allowing a pair of walks and a base hit by Susan Harrison.

“When you have a lead it allows you to bring in players and give them meaningful playing time,” Nicol said. “You don’t want to throw them in there during the playoffs and them not having playing time. That’s what these games are good for.”

The Apaches (3-10 and 2-7 in league) scored their only run in the fifth inning when Storer walked Nicole Puente to lead off the frame.

Puente went to second base on a wild pitch and moved to third base on a single by Christie Haung. Puente crossed the plate on Storer’s wild pitch.

Burroughs added a solo run in the fourth inning when Archuleta singled to center field with one out, stole second base and scored on Lopez’s triple to right field.

Nikki Ricciardella had a lead off base hit to center field in the third inning and advanced to second base on Storer’s infield single, but didn’t score.

Burroughs Lose Heartbreaker 8-4 In Eight Innings

By Rick Assad


Burroughs High and Crescenta Valley were each undefeated in Pacific League play while Arcadia had one loss heading into Tuesday’s league showdown with the Apaches at Tomahawk Field.

After an 8-4, eight-inning setback to Arcadia and the Falcons’ 8-0 triumph over host Muir, Crescenta Valley is now 8-0 while the Indians and Apaches are both 6-1.

“We had opportunities, but I give credit to their pitcher,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “He did a good job of throwing. I like those side-arm pitchers.”

Trailing 4-2, the Indians scored two runs in the seventh inning and sent six batters to the plate.

The frame began with Riley Hooper getting hit with a pitch by Brett Porter and Randy Catlett getting a single to left field that moved Hooper to second base.

Justin Palafox then laid down a sacrifice bunt and Jason Whaley had an run-scoring ground out that scored Hooper. Gabriel Pellot, who came in as a pinch runner for Catlett, crossed the plate on an error.

“That was a challenge,” Sherwood said of the early 4-0 deficit. “I think this is a great team [Burroughs] with outstanding talent. But this puts Crescenta Valley in the cat-bird seat and we’re going to have to play well the rest of the way in order to make the [CIF] playoffs.”

The Apaches, who lost to host Glendale 2-0, iced the affair with a four-run eighth inning when 10 batters waltzed to the plate.

Ryan Tuck, who had four hits that included a double, drove in a run with an infield hit, while Jacob Lopez (two hits) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Loren Iwasaki (two hits) forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk and Mike Saenz was nicked with a pitch with the bases filled.

“We’ve had trouble scoring runs,” Arcadia coach Nick Lemas said. “This was a huge win for us. We put pressure on them offensively by putting the ball in play.”

The Indians (13-3) fell behind 1-0 in the top of the first inning when Iwasaki’s base hit off Jesse Galindo drove in Tuck (three runs batted in), who was hit by a pitch.

It became 3-0 through two frames after Noah Falcon (two hits) hit a sacrifice fly that made it 2-0 and Lopez’s single gave the Apaches (12-6-1) a 3-0 advantage. Lopez drove in three runs.

It ballooned to 4-0 with a run in the fourth inning when Tuck’s double drove in Falcon, who led off the inning with a double down the left-field line.

Galindo went three and two-third innings while allowing seven hits with two hit batters.

Burroughs trimmed the lead in half after a two-run fifth inning when Hooper (two hits) led off with a single to left field and scored on Whaley’s single to left. Justin Palafox (two hits) reached base on a hit to left field and scored on an error.

Shaine Leonard picked up for Galindo and took the loss after toiling three and two-third frames, surrendering four hits, two walks, with one strikeout and one hit batter.

Whaley went one-third of an inning with one walk, one hit allowed and one hit batter, while Catlett tossed one-third of an inning with one hit batter.

Porter toured six innings with eight hits allowed, one walk, three strikeouts and one hit batter, while Falcon collected the win and went two innings with one hit batter, one strikeout and two hits surrendered.

Burbank Softball Can’t Keep Up With CV, Lose 14-3

By Rick Assad


Call it fatigue or whatever, but Burbank High sophomore pitcher Allie Benson wasn’t effective as she faced 12 batters and was able to retire four as six runs crossed the plate.

Eight more runs would score for Crescenta Valley during the course of a five-inning Pacific League softball game at McCambridge Park on Thursday as the Falcons earned a 14-3 decision after knocking off the Bulldogs 7-3 on Tuesday.

Benson took the loss and gave up five hits with two walks and one strikeout.

“She’s just tired,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said of his young right-hander. “We played three games this week.”

Sophomore Reace Rushing came in with one out in the second inning and surrendered 10 hits and eight runs with three strikeouts.

Freshman Alex Davis entered with none out in the fifth inning and gave up one hit and no runs.

“They’re young and they’re off and on,” Delaney said of his pitching staff. “They’re spotty. It’s a day by day process.”

Eight batters waltzed to the plate during a three-run opening frame for the Falcons.

“We didn’t come prepared to play today,” Delaney said. “I don’t know why? We expected to play better, but we didn’t think well out there and we didn’t execute.”

Senior Paige Baker walked with the bases loaded and freshman Peyton Hause singled to right field for two runs.

Nine hitters trotted to the dish in the second inning including senior Syndee Wells who tripled to right field that scored two runs.

An infield out by Hause scored a run and freshman Taylor Hoogenhuizen’s infield hit added another run.

With an 8-0 advantage through two innings, Crescenta Valley increased its lead to 10-0 with a pair of runs in the fourth as Wells lined a ball over the left field fence for a homer to lead off the frame and Hause chimed in with an infield hit that plated a run.

The Falcons (9-4 and 5-0 in league) then received six straight singles to begin the fifth inning with senior Marissa Gutierrez driving in a run with a base hit to right center, senior Vivianna Sandoval adding a run-scoring single to left, freshman Alyssa Hernandez chiming in with a single that scored a run and Hause adding a grounder that also brought in a run.

The Bulldogs (5-14 and 2-4 in league), who managed six hits, trimmed the lead to 11 runs with a three-run fifth inning as freshman Emily Monterrey’s triple to center field drove in sophomore Erin Lashkari, who singled, senior Cailey Stevenson, who walked and sophomore Macie Jensen, who reached on a force out.

“We have a lot of young players,” said senior infielder Julia Duarte, who walked in three plate appearances. “But I think that we’re going to come together. We need to do the fundamentals. What we need is a lot of grit. That’s something we had last year.”

Other Burbank players who garnered hits included sophomore Anysia Gonzalez, sophomore Bene Snyder, freshman Amaya Broyls and Davis.


Burbank Baseball Blanks Glendale, 5-0

By Rick Assad


Burbank High didn’t get many hits off two Glendale pitchers, but still managed to push aside the host Nitros 5-0 during Wednesday’s Pacific League game.

“We have lacked timely hitting a lot of times, but that’s do to inexperience,” Burbank coach Bob Hart said. “I think that we have what it takes to win the league title, which is our goal. But we collectively have do a better job.”

Matt Lungaro went six innings, allowing three hits with four strikeouts, two walks and two hit batters.

“I felt great when I was able to get the ball down and I was able to find my mo-jo,” Lungaro said. “When my pitches were up, I needed to slow down and breath a little.”

Lungaro said that he has confidence in himself and his teammates. “As a pitcher I just try to do my job.”

Danny Porras worked a perfect seventh inning that included a pair of strikeouts.

The Bulldogs, who rapped five hits, scored a solo run in the opening frame when Forest Fajardo was nicked by a pitch. He then stole second base and scored when Porras reached base on an error.

A three-run, four-hit, fifth inning gave the Bulldogs (3-8 and 2-3 in league) a 4-0 cushion and began when Ben Crosby singled to center field and advanced to second base on an error.

Fajardo was safe on an infield hit as Crosby took third base. Both runners moved up a base when Jeremy Chong laid down a sacrifice bunt.

Everett Fair’s opposite-field double to left center brought in both runners and when Porras, who walked in the seventh inning, tripled to right center, Fair crossed the plate.

Burbank added a solo run in the sixth inning when Fisher Cabot walked to lead off the frame, moved to second base on Matt Shaugabay’s sacrifice, went to third on a balk and scored on a delayed steal.

Lungaro faced four batters in the first inning and fanned two with one walk, and allowed a hit batter in the second inning.

Andrew Tinoco singled with two out for Glendale (2-13 and 1-4 in league), but was left stranded when Armando Alvarez hit into a force out.

Lungaro fanned Ryan Kataoka, but he reached base on a throwing error to begin the frame. Lungaro then retired Justin Solano on a sacrifice bunt, Trent Lousararian on a grounder and Bryce Wong on a fly ball.

Lungaro put away the first two batters he faced in the fifth inning before allowing a single to David Piedra, but then induced Tinoco to hit back to the box.

Alvarez opened the sixth inning with a single to left and moved to second when Danny Lima was nicked by a pitch.

Lungaro then fanned Solano, retired Lousararian on a fly out and had Wong ground out.

Burbank Softball Lets One Slip Away, 4-3, To Glendale

By Rick Assad


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.

Burroughs Baseball Takes Out Glendale, 11-1

By Rick Assad 


Burroughs High senior pitcher Kyle Nicol didn’t have his best stuff, but was good enough to beat host Glendale 11-1 in a Pacific League baseball game on Friday.

Nicol went four innings and allowed two hits with one run, added three strikeouts with one walk and two hit batters.

“I just wasn’t feeling it today,” Nicol said. “Mentally I was fine, but for some reason I wasn’t feeling it. But my teammates always have my back.”

Luckily, Nicol (4-0) was supported by a nine hit barrage as junior Justin Palafox had two hits with four runs batted in while sophomore Nathan Palafox added two hits and two RBIs.

“We’re not a great hitting team, but we’re a good situational hitting team,” Burroughs coach Craig Sherwood said. “Every team in this league is good. I have tremendous respect for Glendale’s coach [Alan Eberhart].”

The scoring began in the first inning when Justin Palafox, who scored three runs, was safe on an error and crossed the plate when Nathan Palafox singled to right center.

Burroughs (9-2 and 2-0 in league) then sent 11 batters to the plate in the second inning as Justin Palafox drove in a run after getting hit by the pitch and senior Omar Tejeda walked with the bases loaded to make it 3-0.

Nathan Palafox’s two-run single to right field made it 5-0 and it became 6-0 on an infield hit by senior Tanner Whitlock.

The Indians added a solo run in the third inning when Justin Palafox singled in junior Riley Hooper, who doubled to lead off the frame.

Burroughs made it 11-0 when it trotted 10 batters to the plate in the fourth inning. Senior Randy Catlett had a sacrifice fly, Justin Palafox chimed in with a two-run double to right center and senior Nick Ziegler added an infield single that brought in a run.

The Nitros (1-11 and 0-2 in league) trimmed the deficit to 10 runs with a tally in the fourth inning when junior Andrew Tinoco doubled to left center to open the frame and scored on an error.

The Indians made two errors in the fourth inning and Sherwood hopes to correct the matter.

“The first thing that the players learn when they put on the Burroughs jersey is to catch the ball. You have to be able to pitch and catch.”

Senior Jared Whaley worked the fifth and final inning and after allowing a leadoff single to senior Keyvan Duran, was able to retire the next three batters that included striking out senior Bryan Mata for the second out.


Burroughs Softball Begins Pacific League On Right Foot

By Rick Assad

Rain, thunder, lightning and hail stones suspended Tuesday’s Pacific League softball game between Burroughs High and Glendale at Jenny Dalton Field.

When the sky opened up, the game was halted with one out in the top of the third inning and a runner on first base and no score.

A day later, the Indians’ bats came alive and sophomore pitcher Presley Miraglia was on the mark and the chief beneficiary of a 5-1 victory.

Highly-decorated after an outstanding freshman campaign, Miraglia, who retired the side in order in the first, third and fourth inning, went seven strong innings, struck out 10 while allowing one walk and six hits.

It seemed the at-bats Wednesday were filled with confidence and it showed when junior Lauren Lopez, who was the batter when the rains came, tripled to right center field, which drove in sophomore Hannah Talavera, who reached on a force out.

“Lauren made a statement in that first at-bat,” Burroughs coach Doug Nicol said. “After the rains came, we had a chance to talk to the girls in the hallway and we spoke about being more aggressive at the plate. That really helped.”

The Indians (8-2 and 1-0 in league), who pounded out nine hits, made it 3-0 with a two-run fourth inning as five batters marched to the plate.

“On Tuesday, they weren’t very aggressive at the plate and hitting is all about approach,” Nicol said.

Junior Brianna Johnson opened the frame with a walk off freshman Aurora Funaro, and moved to second base on sophomore Jessie Amaya’s sacrifice bunt.

“The energy was completely different today,” Amaya said. “We said, let’s grind it out. Let’s get this together.”

Funaro toiled seven frames, fanned three, walked two and filled in admirably for senior and ace hurler Jordan Lousararian, who was under the weather.

Johnson stole third base and scored on junior Amanda Flores’ ground out.

“We had a lot more energy today,” said Flores, who walked in the second inning. “We needed to get hits and so we played small ball.”

Johnson knows that because the Indians are the co-league champions along with Burbank, teams are gunning for them.

“I don’t feel the pressure,” said Johnson, who had two hits with a walk, a run batted in and two runs scored. “I think it puts the pressure on the other team.”

Johnson was asked about the difference in the approach at the plate from Tuesday to Wednesday.

“I think that we were looking for our pitch today,” she said. “We were more aggressive and more dialed in.”

With two out, senior Brianna Devellano then drilled an inside the park homer to right center that made it 3-0.

“We were more relaxed today than we were yesterday,” said Devellano, who is the catcher. “We were over-thinking on Tuesday.”

Burroughs trotted seven batters to the plate in the sixth inning and tacked on a solo run to make it 4-0 when Johnson tripled to center field and scored on a throwing error.

The lead became 5-0 in the seventh inning and was scored when senior Kaitlin Okimoto doubled to left field, moved to third base on a fly ball and scored on Johnson’s sacrifice bunt.

The Nitros (6-3 and 0-1 league) cut the lead to 5-1 with a run in the bottom half of the frame when senior Claire Smith doubled in senior Grace Sinisterra, who singled to right center.

Glendale junior Sammy Fabian’s one-out single in the sixth inning increased her hitting streak to 52 games.

The Indians will host the Nitros on Thursday with a 3:15 p.m. start.

Burbank Girls Hoopsters Shoot For The Top

By Rick Assad
Sports Editor


Yassemeen “Yazzy” Sa’ Dullah was one of the best girls basketball players in the Pacific League for several seasons, but is now toiling as a point guard for the University of West Virginia.

Because her 18 point scoring average, seven rebounds and three steals will be missing from the lineup, longtime Burbank High Coach Bruce Breeden feels it will take a “team effort” in order to fill her substantial shoes.

Last season, Sa’ Dullah helped the Bulldogs finish 16-14 overall, 9-5 in the Pacific League for third place, and advance to the second-round of CIF Southern Section Division I-AA playoffs.

Photo  By: Edward Tovmassian

Burbank Coach Bruce Breeden thinks the Bulldogs will be competitive in the Pacific League. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

“The Pacific League looks to be between Crescenta Valley, Burroughs and Arcadia at the top,” Breeden said. “We’re in that next tier, but we could move into that top section. But I think we’re going to be competitive.”

Burbank opens its league campaign on Jan. 5 at Muir, hosts Burroughs on Jan. 22, and visits the Indians on Feb. 11.

The Bulldogs are 6-1 after playing in the San Gabriel Valley Tournament and the Burroughs Tournament.

Burbank’s starting five includes senior power forward Christina Mkrtchyan, junior center Emma Kerr, junior small forward Sabrina Zakarian, senior point guard Ani Sarkisyan and freshman shooting/point guard Osanna Tirityan.

“Christina is a three-year varsity player and a two-year starter,” Breeden said of the 5-foot-8 Mkrtchyan. “She’s a hard worker and is one of the best shooters. She’s a vocal leader and a captain. This is going to be her breakout year.”

Kerr, at 6-0, is expected to be a force in the middle and contribute points and rebound. “Emma has made great strides in the off-season,” Breeden said. “She rebounds well and is a good defender.”

Photo  By: Edward Tovmassian

Senior power forward Christina Mkrtchyan will have a major role this season. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Breeden sees good things from the 5-9 Zakarian. “This will be her first year on the varsity, but there’s lots of upside,” he pointed out. “She rebounds well and is developing an outside game. The only thing she lacks is varsity experience.”

Breeden said the 5-5 Sarkisyan is the boss on the floor. “Ani is the floor leader and she has a year of experience,” he said. “She’s getting stronger and has really worked on her game.”

According to Breeden, the 5-9 Tirityan is still developing her skills. “The big thing with Osanna is that she has a lot of upside,” he said. “She has good size and has an excellent basketball IQ. She’ll have a major role this season.”

Senior shooting guard Lenneah Hope-Pasion is 5-9, and the first off the bench. “She’s high energy and smart,” Breeden said. “She always knows where the ball is and she likes to run and is an exciting player.”

Photo  By: Edward Tovmassian

Junior center Emma Kerr will be asked to score, rebound and play defense. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Meanwhile 5-8 junior power forward Sarah Sarquiz is coming off a torn ACL, but is happy to be getting a chance to play basketball.

“She’s just excited to put on a uniform,” Breeden said. “She likes to bang on defense and is a great utility player. Right now she’s not in playing shape but will be by the time Pacific League starts.”

The rest of the team shapes up as follows: 5-7 senior guard Coleen Shamalian, 5-5 senior point guard Celine Shamalian, 5-4 senior shooting guard Jamie Alonzo, 5-7 junior small forward Stephanie Grigorian, 5-6 junior shooting guard Emily Pennings, and 5-4 freshman shooting/point guard Rita Khechumyan.