By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor
It was a long time coming but well worth the wait. For the first time in 26 years, the Burbank softball team was crowned a league champion. Not since competing in the Foothill League in 1987 did the Bulldogs become top dog. They have accomplished this year’s prize with finesse and power at the plate, steadiness and reliability on defense, and trust and togetherness as a team.
“To be a league champ means we worked to our greatest ability as players and coaches to achieve one common goal; be the best team out there,” Burbank coach Nicole Drabecki said. “Nothing ever comes easy. With time, hard work, determination and believing in ourselves, we can do anything.”
Drabecki arrived to BHS in 2008. She patiently built a solid program and eventually a champion in six years. Following a successful 2012 campaign where they went 23-7, the Bulldogs are 23-2 this year and undefeated in league (13-0). Burbank is 45-10 in the Pacific League since 2010.
Six players are batting over .400 including a team batting average of .398. Throw in the most dominant pitcher in the area, sophomore Caitlyn Brooks, and you have the makings of a possible CIF champion. It was only fitting that Brooks threw a no-hitter against Arcadia to clinch the outright league title.
The Bulldogs are currently ranked No. 2 in CIF Division II behind Highland, a team that Burbank has split two games with this season.
Burbank’s next goal is to go undefeated in league. Standing in the way is their cross-town rivals from Burroughs, league champions from 2010 through 2012. The Bulldogs won the first game this season, a 3-0 victory at McCambridge Park on April 18. The two teams play this Friday night at 6 p.m. at Olive Park in what promises to be another exciting game.
Softball in the city of Burbank is flourishing with both programs head and shoulders above the rest of the league. After three years of domination by the Indians, there is a new sheriff in town. Or shall we say “champion?”
Drabecki and her team of Bulldogs are top dogs once again.
“These girls have given every ounce of their might to this program and this season. They have worked harder than any of my other teams in the past,” Drabecki said with pride.
“An excellent work ethic, focusing on the fundamentals and mechanics and cheering for each other is the difference maker. This 2013 team deserves the league title.”