By Rick Assad
All it took for the Burroughs High softball team to get out of the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division IV playoffs was a herculean effort by pitcher Stevie Dabbadie and a six-run, seven-hit third inning.
As the top-ranked team in the division and its goal winning the championship, much is expected from the Bears, and after Friday’s 6-0 pasting of Buena at Olive Park, the team is inching closer to something that has never been done and that’s capture the division title.
“We haven’t played in over a week and you get in this rhythm, two, three games every week. I felt we were out of rhythm a little bit but I’m happy we were able to grind,” Burroughs coach Doug Nicol said. “Not every team can do that and win the game. We played solid defense, great pitching and timely hitting.”
The eventful third stanza witnessed 10 batters make their way to home plate as sophomore Alyssa Morales singled to left field for the Bears (22-4 and 9-1 for first place in the Pacific League).
Senior Rachel Little also singled to left and junior Gizelle Rangsiyawong added a run-scoring hit to center.
“I really liked watching our defense be on point today and I was very proud of how well the team executed. The game started to get going really well for us in the third inning and we really showed how good of a hitting team we are,” Little noted. “I was very proud of us as a team today.”
Dabbadie grounded out to second base and sophomore Chloe Centeno lofted a two-run single to right field.
Junior Phoebe Spangler lined to left field for the second out, junior Alyssa Rosales added a run batted in single to right center and senior Lilly Lewis chipped in with a sun-assisted triple to right field.
Freshman Karlee Earl’s single to left plated the sixth run and the inning was over when sophomore Alyssa Morales hit a ball to center field.
Dabbadie came out and worked a 1-2-3 first and second inning but walked the leadoff hitter, junior Rylee Segovia, in the third.
Dabaddie worked her magic by striking out senior Bridget Rodriguez, who had the only hit off the right-hander.
Junior Divina Miranda hit a short fly to right field who threw her out at first base. Senior Jenny Jacinto ended the frame by swinging at a third strike.
Senior Dakota Moore grounded to third base in the fourth but sophomore Jordan Gonzalez was safe on an error.
Gonzalez was thrown out at second base trying to steal and the inning concluded for the Bulldogs (12-12 and 8-6 for fourth place in the Channel League) when junior Madison Shay lofted a high fly to right field.
In the fifth, senior Destanee Perez, junior Aubrey Trigo and Segovia all fanned swinging.
Rodriguez came to bat in the sixth as the leadoff hitter and drilled a hard-hit ball to left field that was an easy double, but she tried to reach third base only to get thrown out.
Miranda bounced to second base for the second out and Jacinto whiffed swinging.
Dabbadie’s fourth perfect frame came in the seventh as Moore bounced back to Dabbadie for the initial out.
Gonzalez became the second out when she struck out swinging and Shay lined to shortstop for the clincher.
“I just stayed relax through it all and made sure not to overdue do it and trust my teammates throughout the whole game,” Dabbadie said of her outing.
Katie Taix, the Burroughs pitching coach liked the effort and concentration by the senior.
“Stevie has been dominant for us in the circle this year. The one thing that I love about Stevie is that she takes it one pitch at a time,” she said. “She stayed composed, trusted her pitches, hit her spots, and took it one pitch at a time. I love her composure in the circle and her command with her pitches.”
The first inning saw Dabbadie strike out Jacinto looking and then Moore grounded out to third base. Gonzalez bounced back to the box for the last out.
In the second, Shay grounded to shortstop, Perez flied to right field and Trigo bounced to second base.
A second-round game on Tuesday versus Chino at Olive Park with a 3:15 p.m. start time is next on the schedule for the Bears.