By Rick Assad
Burbank High softball coach Mike Delaney wants his players to be aggressive at the plate.
They weren’t as seven of the nine batters who fanned were called out on strikes as Crescenta Valley powered past the Bulldogs 8-0 on Thursday afternoon at McCambridge Park as the two remaining undefeated teams in the Pacific League met.
“We’ve been working on this so hard,” Delaney said. “When we get runners on second and in scoring position, shortening up our swings and putting a good swing on the ball.”
Delaney went on: “I use CV as an example today. They did a really good job of adjusting. I’m a pretty free wheeling coach and I like for them to get after it. That was my biggest frustration.”
Delaney said it’s important to know the situation.
“We preach that every day in practice. Two strikes, you can’t go down looking,” he said. “We want them swinging. This game is all about adjustment. You can’t sit there and be a robot. If we just have adjusted.”
Burbank (6-5 and 3-1 in league) managed just five hits off freshman Dee Dee Hernandez, who delivered seven strong innings.
“I know my team’s behind me and they can make plays for me,” Hernandez said. “I know that my team will push more runs for me.”
Hernandez, who didn’t walk a batter, pointed out that the players like each other. “Our team chemistry’s very strong. I always like to compete,” she said. “Challenges are best. It makes you stronger as a player and as a team.”
The Falcons (15-1 and 4-0 in league) forged ahead 1-0 in the second inning on a run-scoring single by freshman Devon Medina off senior Allie Benson, who left after three and two-third frames, walking one and allowing eight hits.
Crescenta Valley added three runs in the fourth inning against Benson as Medina had a run-tallying grounder and junior Alyssa Hernandez a run-scoring triple to left field.
It became 8-0 after a four-run seventh as eight batters trotted to the plate off junior Alyssa Porras, who went three and one-third innings, fanning one and yielding four hits including Dee Dee Hernandez’s run-scoring base hit up the middle and sophomore Maddie De Leon’s three-run, inside-the-park homer to right center.
“The girls are never satisfied,” Crescenta Valley coach Amanda Peek said. ” There are always things that they can correct. We play together as a team. The seventh inning, those girls want to finish. We’re hungry. We want to clean things up.”
Burbank junior Amaya Broyls led off with a triple to left center in the first inning against Hernandez, who then struck out junior Sarah Garelick looking.
Junior Alex Davis lined to right field and Broyls was caught in a run down and was eventually tagged out.
Senior Anysia Gonzalez was called out on strikes in the second inning, senior Macie Jensen popped to shortstop, senior Erin Lashkari was hit by a pitch and Hernandez struck out senior Bene Snyder looking.
Five batters went to the plate for the Bulldogs in the third frame as junior Desi Gomez and sophomore Katie Treadway both grounded out and Broyls was safe on an error.
Garelick singled to center field as Broyls moved to second base, but Davis was caught looking at strike three.
Gonzalez opened the fourth inning with a hit to right center and raced to second base on Jensen’s sacrifice bunt.
Lashkari flied to center field and Snyder struck out swinging.
Hernandez worked a 1-2-3 fifth as Gomez fanned looking, Treadway popped to second base and Broyls fouled to shortstop.
Garelick led off the sixth inning with a base hit up the middle and Davis lined to right field.
Gonzalez moved Garelick to second base with a sacrifice, but Jensen grounded out to third base.
The seventh inning saw Hernandez strike out three batters as Lashkari and Snyder were both caught looking while Broyls struck out swinging.
In between, Gomez had a two-out single to right field and scooted to second base when Treadway reached on an error.