Through the years, there’s been mutual respect between the Burroughs High and Crescenta Valley softball teams once they step onto the diamond ready to compete against each other.
The Bears and Falcons have contended for Pacific League championships over the last 10 years, resulting in many close contests between the two squads.
That proved to be the case again Tuesday when Burroughs and Crescenta Valley met in the first of two head-to-head matchups this season.
Back by a huge fourth inning, Burroughs posted a come-from-behind 6-4 home win against Crescenta Valley in a league game at Olive Park.
The Bears (12-2, 4-0 in league) scored four runs in the fourth to take a 6-2 lead before fending off the Falcons (9-7, 1-1).
“We’ve had a lot of great games with CV over the years, so we definitely have a lot of respect for them,” said Burroughs coach Doug Nicol, whose team reached the CIF Southern Section Division IV semifinals last season. “It came down again to the last out, and I’m just happy to get the win.
“It was supposed to be a rebuilding year for our team after we lost six seniors to graduation. They’ve worked hard in the weight room and on the field to get better, and it’s showing now. You just want to try and keep it going.”
Locked in a 2-2 game entering the fourth, Burroughs took a 3-2 lead on a run-scoring single by Gizelle Rangsiyawong with one out. Stevie Dabbadie followed with an RBI single to make it 4-2, but the ball got past the centerfielder allowing two more runs to score to extend the lead to 6-2.
“I thought we were able to execute well in that inning,” said Rangsiyawong, who finished with two hits and two runs. “It was really big because those extra runs gave us a cushion and it felt a lot safer for us.
“You know it’s always going to be close when you play CV. Last year, we struggled against them at times. It’s always going to be a battle when you face them.”
Crescenta Valley closed to within 6-4 on a two-run home run to left by Mila Reddy in the fifth before Dabbadie retired nine of the last 10 batters en route to the complete-game victory.
Dabbadie, who struggled in the circle in the first three innings, settled down thereafter. The right-hander allowed six hits and struck out nine.
“Stevie’s command was off the first three innings,” said Nicol, whose squad is No. 2 in Division IV behind Fullerton. “I can tell when she’s struggling, but I know she can work through it. She works well as a unit with [catcher] Rachel Little.”
Burroughs took a 1-0 lead in the first on a run-scoring double down the right-field line by Chloe Centeno.
Crescenta Valley made it 2-1 in the second on a two-run single by Jaiden Sabelis.
The Bears tied it at 2 in the third on an RBI single with two outs by Alyssa Rosales that scored Centeno, who beat out an infield hit to keep the inning going.
Burroughs finished with 12 hits. The Bears received three hits from Lilly Lewis and two apiece from Little and Centeno.
Crescenta Valley got two hits each from Sabelis and Reddy.
The Bears and Falcons will meet again on April 25 at Crescenta Valley.