Burbank Softball Engages Providence, Wins 3-2

The Bulldogs and Pioneers play in first-ever softball game between these two schools and Nikki Perez throws out ceremonial first pitch.

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Burbank vice mayor Nikki Perez is about to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Burbank and Providence takes the field. (Photo by Rick Assad)

By Rick Assad

On a number of levels, Tuesday’s nonleague softball game between Burbank High and Providence at a jammed-packed Olive Park was historic.

For one, it was the first time these schools have ever met for a softball game and second it marked the first time an openly gay Burbank vice mayor as ever thrown out the ceremonial first pitch, which Nikki Perez did in fine fashion.

And lastly it marked the beginning of the softball season and brought together two very good teams.

The Bulldogs prevailed 3-2 across seven innings over the Pioneers as junior Maddison Kellogg tossed a two-hitter with 14 strikeouts and three walks.

Senior Grace Workman was in the circle for Providence and toiled three-plus innings and senior Olyvia Rutter came in and relieved Workman, who allowed six hits with six strikeouts and two walks, went four frames walking one and fanning eight.

“We win as a team and lose as a team. Unfortunately, we fell a little short against Burbank,” Workman said. “I am confident we will bounce back for Thursday’s game. I believe in my team 100 percent, and I know we will have a great season.”

“I’m very proud of the girls for coming out with a big win. Lots of respect for Manny [Travieso]. He has made the Providence softball program an exciting and a competitive one,” Burbank coach Melissa Sanchez said. “Providence gave us a nail-biting game.”

Sanchez went on: “Maddison was stellar in the circle. She stayed strong for seven innings,” se said. “Eliza will be a big stick for us this season getting two great hits with an RBI. Charley stepped up huge for us with a two-RBI single.”

Grace Workman started for the Pioneers and went three-plus innings in a 3-2 setback to the Bulldogs. (Photo by Rick Assad)

Sanchez then added: “We haven’t had a real full infield, outfield practice at McCambridge Park which is being worked on and closed. We definitely have a lot to work on,” she said. “We will enjoy this win and get back tomorrow. We really need to battle and earn our wins this year. We have a completely new infield and step up in the catcher role. We look forward to the challenge.”

Sanchez also likes the sisterhood of the team.

“The one thing I love about today is that these girls played like sisters. They all did everything I asked for and executed,” she noted. “They trust the coaches and each other which is the most important thing. I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m very proud of them.”

The scoring began in the first inning when the Bulldogs (1-0) scored a solo run as six batters went to the plate.

Junior Samantha Cafferty led off with a walk and advanced to second base on a hit to right center from senior Eliza Bowren. Cafferty scored on a single to right center from senior Kara Valencia.

The Pioneers (0-1) evened it at 1-1 with a run in the bottom of the second when Junior Gloria Galindo, who was leading off, smacked a solo home run over the fence in left field.

“Our team played well. Although the lack of practice due to weather was evident as we lost the game by making errors and not hitting to our ability,” Providence coach Manny Travieso said. “Our pitching was on point. It was great to see Gloria Galindo hit her first home run against a good pitcher [Kellogg].”

Travieso also praised Burbank for taking on his team in this historic game.

“I tip my cap to the Burbank varsity team for playing us for the first time ever,” he said. “It’s too bad the other high school softball team in Burbank was unwilling to play us.”

Burbank’s Maddison Kellogg went seven innings and surrendered two hits with 14 strikeouts and three walks versus Providence. (Photo by Rick Assad)

Burbank extended its advantage to 3-1 with two runs in the top of the third as junior Charley Barnett laced a hard-hit, two-run single down the right-field line that tallied Cafferty, who began the frame with a walk and Bowren, who singled down the left-field line. Valencia also singled to center field but did score.

Providence sliced into the lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth inning as junior Mia Allinson, who began the frame with a walk, advanced to second on an error and scored on another miscue.

Senior Breanna Palaez had an infield single in the first inning for the Pioneers and went to second base on a walk to senior Kayla Archuleta and each stole a base but neither scored.

Kellogg, who singled to left field in the fourth, had four innings in which she worked a 1-2-3 frame. They were the third, fourth, sixth and seventh innings.

In the third, Kellogg struck out Archuleta and junior Delailah Lopez, both swinging while in the sixth she fanned senior Malia Rode and Galindo, both swinging and in the seventh she whiffed senior Belen Benito, swinging, Allinson looking and Workman swinging to end the game.