Heading into Tuesday’s game against Crescenta Valley, the Burroughs Indians’ softball team knew that a victory against the Falcons would all but mathematically guarantee a third straight Pacific League crown.
Looking to go 10-0 and to maintain a two-game lead in the standings, the Indians fell short, 7-4, to start May with their first league loss of the season, much to the dismay of head coach, Doug Nicol.
“We just flat out did not show-up,” Nicol said. “I can’t explain it, but you could see it and feel it from the start and it was really disappointing.
“You have to give CV all the credit, because they flat out wanted it more than we did today,” Nicol said.
A walk, a hit, an error and a mental mistake in the top of the first gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead. Burroughs countered with a run in its half of the inning and eventually trailed only 3-2 heading into the final inning. As they have done so many times, Burroughs looked poised to mount another dramatic comeback.
“We’ve just done it so much I think we all expected to find a way to win,” Nicol admitted.
However, consecutive errors by shortstop Allie Grimaldo helped spark a four-run outburst by the Falcons in the top of the final frame and a late rally in the bottom half of the inning came-up short.
Jessica Morena had three RBI and a double to lead the Falcons, who moved to 8-2 in the Pacific League play and who have revived their league title hopes with wins over Burbank and Burroughs in a five-day span.
Burroughs (18-3 overall, 9-1 in league) still can claim the league outright by winning out. Expect a pair of wins against Glendale and Hoover to end this week, but the final week of the season is tougher with games against Arcadia and Burbank.
If Burbank (17-5, 8-2) wins out, it will share a portion of the league title with Burroughs and even CV can get a share of the title if it wins out and if Burbank beats Burroughs in the finale May 10.
Burbank destroyed Pasadena, 27-0, on May 1.
“Just once that game looked like it might be for pride only,” Nicol said, “But now it could be huge. “Regardless we have to get right.”
Pitcher Haley Schulman labored through seven lackluster innings against the Falcons. Although only two of the seven runs were earned, she surrendered eight hits, including four for extra bases, walked four and had only five punchouts.
Caitlin Loera was the lone Burroughs player with more than one hit. The senior was 2-for-3 with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored.