By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor
Searching for its first league title since 1987, the Burbank softball team took another step in that direction with a hard fought 2-0 victory against Arcadia on Thursday afternoon at McCambridge Park. The Bulldogs, ranked No. 1 in CIF Division III, found a way to record another win despite struggling at the plate the entire game.
On a day when BHS only mustered three hits total, the tremendous pitching of sophomore Caitlyn Brooks carried the Bulldogs to their 12th win of the season. Brooks posted her fifth shutout of the year yielding only four hits, no walks and striking out 10 Apaches. On the year she has 172 strikeouts in 87 innings and a 0.40 ERA with teams batting a meager .131 off of her.
Scoreless through four innings, Burbank (12-1, 5-0) broke through when Arcadia pitcher McKenzie Grimes began to struggle with her command. Grimes walked Katie Hooper and Kaitlin Brooks and allowed a single to Lily Winn to load the bases. The Bulldogs took advantage of Grimes’ ineffectiveness and scored two runs courtesy of walks to the next two batters.
Defensively the Bulldogs were very strong with only one error committed as well as turning a couple nice double plays that ended potential threats by Arcadia (8-4, 2-2).
“Defensively we played our best game of the year with two doubles plays to add to our total of six on the year,” Burbank Coach Nicole Drabecki said. “It’s about getting out the advanced runner and having confidence in your ability that you don’t hesitate and just react.”
Laina Do was 2 for 3 with two stolen bases and a run scored. Kaitlin Brooks had three walks and one RBI. Hooper had two walks and one RBI and Winn was 1 for 3 with a stolen base.
Burbank plays Muir next Tuesday and then faces three-time defending league champion Burroughs on Thursday at McCambridge Park at 6 p.m. The Indians are a game behind the Bulldogs in the league standings.
“I’m so proud of our team and their work ethic,” Drabecki said. “They deserve every victory as they work their butts off in practice. They are a joy to coach every day.”