If there is one thing that almost anyone watching the Burbank and Burroughs softball teams Wednesday night, it is that they have both improved tremendously in a short amount of a time.
After a slugfest in their first outing, the rematch was a pitcher’s duel in a 2-1 win for the Bears.
“I’m proud of my team. People automatically think that because you beat a team 14-2 that you should do it again. That’s not the case,” Burroughs coach Doug Nicol said. “They’re (Burbank) a good team and I told everyone they’re a good team. We were challenged in different ways. They did a good job using our aggressiveness at the plate by throwing a lot of off speeds, a lot of stuff outside and we didn’t do as good of a job as we could adjusting. But what we did do was we played great defense and made some great plays.”
Burroughs pitcher Kelsey Acosta gave up four hits and struck out five.
“We weren’t hitting as well as we did the last game, but defensively we were solid,” Acosta said. “The main thing was getting the heart of their lineup out because they have some strong hitters. That was a great game. We stayed in it 100 percent and had each other’s backs.”
Burbank pitcher Grace Workman, who is just a freshman, gave up just six hits and three of those were infield singles.
“Early on in the season there were a lot of mistakes that they would make. Being that there are a lot of freshmen and sophomores, as the season went on it gave them more of an opportunity,” Burbank coach Melissa Sanchez said. “Since we didn’t have a preseason because of COVID, it gave them time to mature. It has made a difference in not being able to make those same mistakes they made early on in the season.”
Burbank (11-9 overall, 9-5 in league) got on the board in the first inning. Belinda Lujano led off with a single. Samantha Buckley drew a walk. She scored later in the inning when Hannah Zacariaz reached on an error.
Burroughs (11-9, 10-4) fought right back. Olivia Kam and Rachel Little got things started as both reached base on singles to right field.
Little came in to score on a ground out by Gigi Garcia.
The Bears scored again in the third inning, as Kam was hit by pitch. With two outs, Isabella Scozzola hit a single to left field to score Kam.
Burbank threatened in the sixth inning, having two runners on with just one out.
Burroughs looked to add on some runs in the bottom of the sixth. However, Burbank third baseman Lily Stell, who had been a big threat at the plate, robbed Dyani Del Castillo of what would have been at least an extra-base hit. After catching Del Castillo’s line drive, she was able to throw out Stevie Dabbadie, who had been leading off of second base.
Both teams are expected to be selected to participate in the CIF Southern Section playoffs. The pairings will be announced on Sunday.
But Burroughs third baseman Kiley Christopher came up a huge play, fielding a solid ground ball off the bat of Burbank’s Kara Valencia. Christopher stepped on the bag to force out Elizabeth Zamora and threw to first in time to get out Valencia, resulting in a double play.