Burroughs Softball Begins Pacific League On Right Foot

By On March 30, 2016

By Rick Assad

Rain, thunder, lightning and hail stones suspended Tuesday’s Pacific League softball game between Burroughs High and Glendale at Jenny Dalton Field.

When the sky opened up, the game was halted with one out in the top of the third inning and a runner on first base and no score.

A day later, the Indians’ bats came alive and sophomore pitcher Presley Miraglia was on the mark and the chief beneficiary of a 5-1 victory.

Highly-decorated after an outstanding freshman campaign, Miraglia, who retired the side in order in the first, third and fourth inning, went seven strong innings, struck out 10 while allowing one walk and six hits.

It seemed the at-bats Wednesday were filled with confidence and it showed when junior Lauren Lopez, who was the batter when the rains came, tripled to right center field, which drove in sophomore Hannah Talavera, who reached on a force out.

“Lauren made a statement in that first at-bat,” Burroughs coach Doug Nicol said. “After the rains came, we had a chance to talk to the girls in the hallway and we spoke about being more aggressive at the plate. That really helped.”

The Indians (8-2 and 1-0 in league), who pounded out nine hits, made it 3-0 with a two-run fourth inning as five batters marched to the plate.

“On Tuesday, they weren’t very aggressive at the plate and hitting is all about approach,” Nicol said.

Junior Brianna Johnson opened the frame with a walk off freshman Aurora Funaro, and moved to second base on sophomore Jessie Amaya’s sacrifice bunt.

“The energy was completely different today,” Amaya said. “We said, let’s grind it out. Let’s get this together.”

Funaro toiled seven frames, fanned three, walked two and filled in admirably for senior and ace hurler Jordan Lousararian, who was under the weather.

Johnson stole third base and scored on junior Amanda Flores’ ground out.

“We had a lot more energy today,” said Flores, who walked in the second inning. “We needed to get hits and so we played small ball.”

Johnson knows that because the Indians are the co-league champions along with Burbank, teams are gunning for them.

“I don’t feel the pressure,” said Johnson, who had two hits with a walk, a run batted in and two runs scored. “I think it puts the pressure on the other team.”

Johnson was asked about the difference in the approach at the plate from Tuesday to Wednesday.

“I think that we were looking for our pitch today,” she said. “We were more aggressive and more dialed in.”

With two out, senior Brianna Devellano then drilled an inside the park homer to right center that made it 3-0.

“We were more relaxed today than we were yesterday,” said Devellano, who is the catcher. “We were over-thinking on Tuesday.”

Burroughs trotted seven batters to the plate in the sixth inning and tacked on a solo run to make it 4-0 when Johnson tripled to center field and scored on a throwing error.

The lead became 5-0 in the seventh inning and was scored when senior Kaitlin Okimoto doubled to left field, moved to third base on a fly ball and scored on Johnson’s sacrifice bunt.

The Nitros (6-3 and 0-1 league) cut the lead to 5-1 with a run in the bottom half of the frame when senior Claire Smith doubled in senior Grace Sinisterra, who singled to right center.

Glendale junior Sammy Fabian’s one-out single in the sixth inning increased her hitting streak to 52 games.

The Indians will host the Nitros on Thursday with a 3:15 p.m. start.