By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor
Entering its Pacific League opener on Tuesday at Glendale with a 28-game winning streak on the line in league play, it’s safe to say that Burbank has a target on its back. Whether or not someone breaks the streak remains to be seen.
But one thing is for sure. With Notre Dame-bound Caitlyn Brooks on the mound, a league title is a strong possibility for a third year in a row.
Glendale put up a valiant effort for five innings behind pitcher Jordan Lousararian but the Lady Bulldogs pounced on the Nitros for three runs in the sixth and six more runs in the seventh to win going away, 10-0.
Brooks won her 70th career game in dominating fashion as she struck out 14, walked only one, and allowed just four hits in the complete game shutout.
“Coming here is always a tough game. Glendale is getting better every single season,” Brooks said. “Every time you play them it’s tough and we knew that going in. We knew our pre-season was tough so we came into this game pretty confident that we would play at a high level.”
Jazmin Orozco had three hits, three runs scored and two RBIs. Sabrina Steward collected two hits and three RBIs and Izzy Frias recorded two hits and two runs for BHS.
“We just had to stay what we’ve been working on,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said. “It took us a little while to adjust but we’ve been harping on the girls to be consistent throughout the lineup. Five through nine did it for us today. I was really pleased.”
The Lady Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when Steward singled to left field driving in Orozco who had doubled.
It was a hard-fought one-run game until Burbank made a two-out rally in the sixth inning. After Lily Winn was hit by a pitch, the Lady Bulldogs strung together three consecutive singles by Frias, Orozco and Steward followed by a Glendale error to plate three runs.
“I’ve been in a slump for a while,” Steward said. “I’ve been doing a lot of extra work outside of practice and it showed today.”
Lousararian labored in the seventh inning and Burbank (8-3, 1-0) went for the knockout scoring six runs to take a 10-0 lead. Julia Duarte and Orozco opened the flood gates with back-to-back RBI singles.
“We really worked the pitcher for the first five innings,” Brooks said. “We were making our adjustments with our pitch selection and that really wears on a pitcher. Not at the time but later in the game. That was to our benefit throughout the whole game. Towards the end we really started seeing her pitches and busted through the door and scored some runs.”
Meanwhile, Brooks had settled into a comfort zone after dealing with a brief hiccup in the sixth inning when Glendale (5-5, 0-1) loaded the bases with two out. A lineout to second base ended the threat.
“She got stronger and stronger,” said Delaney. “It’s amazing to watch what she does sometimes. She takes the challenges that we give her and she gets better every single time. You are going to see some really good things from her this year.”
Burbank travels to Arcadia on Thursday before returning home on April 7 with a game against Pasadena. For now, the streak grows to No. 29 courtesy of a tough win at Glendale.
“This game meant a lot to us,” said Steward. “We came out here and played our best and did really good.”