By Rick Assad
Any team that faces Crescenta Valley High’s senior softball ace Dee Dee Hernandez is going to have its hands full.
Burbank did just that and the result was a 16-0 Pacific League loss on Thursday afternoon at McCambridge Park.
Hernandez, a highly-decorated left-handed thrower, who has signed a national letter of intent to attend San Diego State, handcuffed the Bulldogs from the outset, allowing one hit with 11 strikeouts and one walk through five innings.
Sophomore Samantha Buckley had the only hit off Hernandez in the first inning and it was a one-out single to left field.
Buckley did make it to second base on a sacrifice bunt from junior Elizabeth Zamora.
Hernandez, who was selected the CIF Southern Section Division III Player of the Year as a sophomore, then struck out senior Lily Stell looking.
“They were the first ones to jump on the board and Dee Dee was able to keep our batters off the bases,” Burbank coach Melissa Sanchez said. “The girls were mentally prepared coming into the game.”
Sanchez is confident that the Bulldogs (3-3 overall and 0-1 in league) are better than what they showed.
“Unfortunately we fell short and that’s just the way the ball rolls sometimes,” she noted. “We know we are capable of doing much better and we will work harder than ever to overcome some of the obstacles that we face today. We are upset we didn’t get the win, but glad it’s the beginning of the season and we have time to regroup and come back strong.”
The Falcons (1-0 and 1-0 in league) scored runs in every inning except the fourth and had the leadoff runner on base in three of the five frames and finished with 15 hits.
Sanchez tipped her cap to the Falcons, who are a perennial powerhouse in the league.
“Much respect to Crescenta Valley. Year in and year out they continue to show everyone their wonderful softball program,” she said.
Crescenta Valley pulled ahead 1-0 heading into the second when junior Izzy Jamgotchian lined a single to center.
That base hit scored senior Morgan Eng, who was safe on a leadoff double to left.
Nine batters made their way to the batter’s box in the second inning and four runs scored.
Freshman Haley Krohn had a run-scoring single to left center and Hernandez, who is a two-time Pacific League Pitcher of the Year, added a two-run base hit to right field. Jamgotchian also tossed in a run-tallying double.
The Falcons extended their lead to 8-0 in the next inning as Eng’s single brought in two runners and Jamgotchian’s sacrifice fly added another.
An even dozen batters trotted to the plate in the fifth inning and Hernandez’s single to left field scored a run, while sophomore Hailey Neale’s single brought in another run.
Pinch hitter Peri Derian’s base hit to left field tacked on another tally and Eng’s hit plated another run. Hernandez’s two-run single to right field capped the scoring.