Tag Archives: Allie Benson

Burroughs, Burbank Softball Primed For Something Special

By Rick Assad

 

Because of the talent available, it would seem that if the Burbank High and Burroughs softball teams don’t qualify for the CIF Southern Section playoffs, its respective seasons will not be considered very successful.

Burbank is coming off a campaign in which it went 16-12 overall and 10-4 for third place in the Pacific League.

It’s all for one and one for all as the Bulldogs ready for the Pacific League season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs played in a Division IV wild-card match against Norwalk and fell 4-2.

Burroughs went 14-5-1 and 12-2 for second in league and after defeating Bonita 2-0 in a Division III opening-round game, lost to Redlands 4-0 in the second round.

“I believe that we’ll do fairly well this year,” Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said. “I brought up a few new girls from the JV. Overall we should be pretty successful, but softball is the way it is and you never know how the ball is going to go.”

The Indians are gunning for another CIF Southern Section playoff appearance. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Tanigawa is optimistic about this squad.

“These girls that we have are a really good core group. They work together. They pick each other up,” he noted.

Tanigawa also likes that the team doesn’t rely on one aspect of the game.

“I don’t really necessarily see one thing as our strength,” he pointed out. “We’ve lost our star pitcher [Presley Miraglia]. We have pitching. I’ve got a freshman who is looking really good. I brought up a few girls with hopefully a couple of bats.”

To date, Burroughs lost to Newbury Park 8-0 in the Suzanne Manlet Tournament and collected a 3-2 victory over San Fernando in the same tourney.

The Indians begin league play on March 5 when Pasadena makes a visit and will host Burbank on March 29 and travel to the Bulldogs on April 25.

Beside Miraglia, other key performers that graduated includes outfielder Hannah Talavera and second baseman Nikki Ricciardella.

The most valued commodity is always pitching and the Bulldogs, who lost Allie Benson to graduation, have a good one in senior Alyssa Porras.

Infield play is always vital, so the Bulldogs practice being perfect. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Mike Delaney, the Burbank coach, thinks this should be a productive season.

“If we play to our ability, and we have some kids that step up, we can compete with anybody,” h said. “Our kids don’t shy away from competing with anybody. We play a tough tournament schedule because it helps us in league. CV is probably the team to beat this year.”

Like Tanigawa, Delaney is also optimistic.

“If we play the way we can, we’re a top three team for sure,” he said. “If we play even better than that, we can be a top two. I’m not discounting this team from anything.”

Burbank has lost to Louisville 6-4 in the Hart Tournament and fell to Calabasas 6-4 in the same tourney. The Bulldogs commence league action on March 5 when they host Glendale.

Backing up Porras, who worked many innings in 2018, and will be asked to toe the rubber for 200 innings this season, will be junior Savannah Benson, Allie’s younger sister.

Chloe Bookmyer will be asked to be a team leader for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A key member will be senior Alex Davis, who will be the primary shortstop.

Senior Amaya Broyls, a member of the volleyball team, will see the majority of the time behind the plate for Burbank, which lost to graduation first baseman Erin Lashkari, infielder/outfielder Anysia Gonzalez and outfielder/second baseman Macie Jensen.

Senior Nikki Davis and senior Carly Oldfield will battle for first base.

Senior Desiree Gomez is the primary third baseman and will relieve Broyls on occasion as the catcher.

Sophomore Erika Montoya, who played on the basketball team, will play second base.

Burbank is aiming for the top spot in the Pacific League after finishing third last season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank’s outfield will include senior Sarah Garelick in left field, senior Izzy Sanchez in right field and sophomore Victoria Sanchez in center field.

The rest of the team includes senior Emily Monterrey, who also played on the basketball team, will play at first and third base and act as the designated player.

Senior Siena Fagiani will be used in a utility role and designated player, while freshman Bella Scozzola will play first base, third base and the outfield.

Junior Tiffany Estrada will see time in the outfield and be used as a utility player. Junior Jordyn Rivero will play in the outfield, utility and designated player, and freshman Elizabeth Zamora will play in the outfield, designated player and utility.

The Indians go over infield practice knowing its value. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians have four starting pitchers and they will need to at least come close to what Miraglia, a member of the Long Beach State women’s softball team, accomplished in her stellar career.

The two with the most experience in the circle are junior Sidnie Dabaddie and junior Isabella Kam.

The other two hurlers are sophomore Dyani Del Castillo, who played on the basketball team and freshman Kelsey Acosta.

The catching chore will fall upon the dependable shoulders of senior Megan Williams.

The projected infield for Burroughs will have senior Sierra Harvey at first base, senior Morgan Mersola at second base, sophomore Alyssa Valenzuela at shortstop and junior Memorie Munoz at third base.

The Indians’ outfield will consist of senior Hannah Skinner in left field, senior Mia Storer in center field and junior Chloe Bookmyer, the league’s Most Valuable Player Hitter, in right field.

The rest of the lineup will have senior Jillian Kukawski, also a member of the basketball team at third base, senior Lauryn Valenzuela at shortstop, senior Citlali Mendez at shortstop, junior Sami Fiorella in the infield and catcher and sophomore Kaitlyn Cisneros in the infield and utility.

Burbank Softball Loses 15-10 Slugfest To Arcadia

By Rick Assad

 

When it comes to hitting, pitching and defense, the Burbank High softball team excelled in one when it met Arcadia on Thursday afternoon at McCambridge Park in a Pacific League match.

The Apaches were slightly better in three and as a result walked away with a 15-10 decision.

“We didn’t have it defensively or pitching-wise today,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said. “Both of our pitchers struggled today hitting their spots and our defense wasn’t there to pick them up.”

Delaney went on: “Neither one happened today,” he said. “We were flat-footed today.”

The Bulldogs, who were coming off an 11-0 victory over host Glendale two days earlier, managed 13 hits.

Alyssa Porras, shown in a recent Pacific League game against Burroughs, went four innings and allowed 10 hits to Arcadia, which won 15-10. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Leading the charge was junior Desi Gomez, who accounted for three hits that included two triples and a single.

Senior Anysia Gonzalez had a triple and a single and sophomore Katie Treadway finished with a triple and a single.

Senior Macie Jensen added a double and a single and senior Bene Snyder smashed a double and a single.

Delaney said that mental mistakes really hurt. “I think we probably gave them six or seven runs today,” Delaney noted. “I told them that if we score 10 runs, we should win the game. I didn’t think we were prepared.”

Arcadia (7-8 and 4-4 in league) scored in five of the seven innings and collected 16 hits while Burbank (9-8 and 5-3 in league) also scored runs in five innings.

The Apaches scored three runs off senior pitcher Allie Benson in the first as senior Susan Harrison (four hits) belted a one-out, bases-clearing triple to left center.

Benson, who toured three innings, yielding six hits, striking out one and hitting one batter, escaped any further damage by getting junior Karly Gillis, who singled in the seventh, to hit into a double play.

The Bulldogs cut the edge to 3-1 as Gonzalez tripled in junior Sarah Garelick, who was safe on a fielder’s choice in the first inning.

Bene Snyder, shown in a recent game against Crescenta Valley, had a single and a double versus the Apaches. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

When junior Alex Davis lined a ball delivered by freshman Sophia Garzona over the left field fence for a two-run homer, it was knotted at 3-3.

Garzona toiled seven innings, hit a batter and fanned a batter and allowed seven extra-base hits.

Arcadia, which banged out 16 hits including four extra-base hits, made it 6-3 in the second inning when junior Megan Lau (three hits) delivered a run-scoring infield single.

Freshman Averi Wong (two triples) tossed in a smash back to Benson that scored a run and the other run scored via an error.

Burbank shaved Arcadia’s lead to 6-5 with two runs in the second as Gomez’s triple to right center drove in Treadway, who led off with a three-base hit to right center.

It became a one-run affair on Jensen’s one-out, base hit to left field that brought home Gomez.

Arcadia’s lead became 9-5 with a three-run fourth off junior Alyssa Porras, who worked four innings, allowing 10 hits with two hit batters, a walk and a strikeout, as Wong clubbed a two-run triple to center field and senior Nicole Puente added a sacrifice fly.

With a four-run fifth, Arcadia’s advantage swelled to 13-5 as junior Dejah Westbrook (four hits) knocked in a run with a single.

Wong’s triple brought in a pair of runs and Harrison’s single to center field added a run.

The Bulldogs scored a run in the fifth inning that made it 13-6 as Gonzalez, who singled up the middle with two out, eventually crossed the plate on an error.

Arcadia’s final two runs came in the sixth as seven came to bat with only Lau getting a single.

The inning was prolonged by two Burbank errors as the Bulldogs finished with four miscues compared to three for the Apaches.

Burbank shaved the lead to 15-7 with a tally in the sixth inning as Jensen’s double to left field scored a run.

Burbank tacked on three runs in the seventh inning as Gomez tripled to right center for two runs and Gomez came around on an error.

Senior Erin Lashkari also had a base hit for the Bulldogs that came with two out in the seventh inning.

 

Burroughs Softball Gets Past Host Burbank 1-0

By Rick Assad

 

A genuine duel broke out as senior Presley Miraglia and junior Alyssa Porras matched skills in the pitcher’s circle in a Pacific League match on Thursday.

Inning after inning, neither allowed a run until the fourth when an unearned tally crossed the plate, but that was enough for Miraglia as Burroughs High edged Burbank 1-0 on a windy night at McCambridge Park.

“This type of game, it’s basically going to be, whoever is going to make the first major error to get that run across,” Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said of the tight battle. “That’s what it’s going to come down to.”

Presley Miraglia went seven innings, allowed four hits with 13 strikeouts as the Indians won 1-0 over host Burbank. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

That fateful frame began when Porras retired senior Hannah Talavera on a fly to left field.

Junior Mia Storer singled to center field and sophomore Chloe Bookmyer flied to left.

Miraglia, who was making her second start of the season after getting her grade-point average in order, singled up the middle as Storer took second base.

Senior Jessica Amaya reached on an error as Storer took third and scored to make it 1-0.

Porras then induced junior Megan Williams to fly out to right field that ended the inning.

Miraglia was sharp, allowing four hits across seven innings, striking out 13 and issuing no walks.

“Errors happen. I didn’t think we had a problem fielding,” said Miraglia of the bottom half of the initial inning.

Burbank hurler Alyssa Porras gave up one unearned run in the fourth inning to Burroughs. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Miraglia was on the money with her pitches and felt confident.

“I felt a lot stronger today,” she said. “I was working on my spin. I was always taught to put my changeup later. I like to go to my changeup later in the game.”

Porras also went seven frames, fanning three and yielding seven hits with no walks.

“We’re usually a pretty solid defensive team,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said of the fourth inning. “You have to rebound. It’s part of the game. I’ll take our infield against anybody.”

Delaney then added: “A lot of our scoring opportunities came with two out,” he said. “When you get to two outs, it takes away a lot of your offense. We worked hard to pass the bat through our lineup. Presley pitched a good game, but we chased.”

Miraglia retired the side 1-2-3 in the third, fourth and sixth innings and struck out 10 after five frames.

The game began with Talavera reaching base on a wind-assisted infield single as the popup wasn’t fielded.

Burbank’s Sarah Garelick, who singled in the fifth and stole second, tries to lay down a bunt. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Storer then lined out to right field and Bookmyer bounced into an inning-ending double play.

The Bulldogs (8-7 and 4-2 in league) sent five to the plate in the first as junior Amaya Broyls singled to left field with one out.

Junior Sarah Garelick laid down a sacrifice bunt as Broyls went to second and then third base after senior Anysia Gonzalez was safe on an error.

Miraglia, who has shown no rust after missing the early portion of the schedule, has 21 strikeouts in 14 innings, struck out senior Macie Jensen to end the threat.

Porras set down the Indians (6-3-1 and 5-1 in league) in order in the second as Miraglia grounded out and Amaya fanned looking while Williams grounded out.

Miraglia struck out senior Erin Lashkari and senior Bene Snyder to begin the second inning.

Junior Desi Gomez then reached an a wind-helped infield pop, but the frame concluded when sophomore Katie Treadway struck out swinging.

Runs were hard to come by with Presley Miraglia and Alyssa Porras in the circle. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Porras was brilliant in the third as senior Nikki Riccardella popped up, junior Citlali Mendez grounded out and sophomore Memorie Munoz struck out.

Miraglia answered as she set down the Bulldogs in order, fanning junior Alex Davis, then getting Broyls and Garelick on infield popups.

It was more of the same in the fourth for Burbank as Gonzalez fanned, while Jensen flied out to right field and Lashkari popped up.

The Indians went down 1-2-3 in the fifth as Riccardella popped up, Mendez flied out to center field and Munoz grounded out.

The bottom of the fifth inning saw Miraglia strike out the side as Snyder went down looking, Gomez swinging and Davis swinging.

Treadway, the third batter in the frame, singled to left center and stole second base.

Six batters trotted to the plate in the sixth for the Indians with Talavera getting a leadoff single to right center. Storer was safe on an error and Bookmyer singled up the middle.

Porras retired Miraglia on a liner back to the box, Amaya reached on a force out and Williams lined out to left field.

The Bulldogs did nothing against Miraglia in the sixth as Broyls grounded out, Garelick lined out to right field and Gonzalez struck out swinging.

Pinch hitter, junior Kaitlin Escamilla, singled to right field for the Indians in the seventh, but sophomore Isabella Kam, a pinch hitter, struck out.

Munoz fouled out to the catcher, Talavera singled up the middle for her third hit, but Storer grounded out.

Miraglia faced four hitters in the seventh as Jansen fanned looking, Lashkari then singled to right center.

Pinch hitter, senior Allie Benson, struck out swinging and Gomez flied out to right field in foul territory for the final out.

Burbank Softball Whitewashed By Crescenta Valley 8-0

By Rick Assad

Burbank High softball coach Mike Delaney wants his players to be aggressive at the plate.

They weren’t as seven of the nine batters who fanned were called out on strikes as Crescenta Valley powered past the Bulldogs 8-0 on Thursday afternoon at McCambridge Park as the two remaining undefeated teams in the Pacific League met.

“We’ve been working on this so hard,” Delaney said. “When we get runners on second and in scoring position, shortening up our swings and putting a good swing on the ball.”

Delaney went on: “I use CV as an example today. They did a really good job of adjusting. I’m a pretty free wheeling coach and I like for them to get after it. That was my biggest frustration.”

Burbank first baseman Erin Lashkari makes a nifty play against the Falcons. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Delaney said it’s important to know the situation.

“We preach that every day in practice. Two strikes, you can’t go down looking,” he said. “We want them swinging. This game is all about adjustment. You can’t sit there and be a robot. If we just have adjusted.”

Burbank (6-5 and 3-1 in league) managed just five hits off freshman Dee Dee Hernandez, who delivered seven strong innings.

“I know my team’s behind me and they can make plays for me,” Hernandez said. “I know that my team will push more runs for me.”

Hernandez, who didn’t walk a batter, pointed out that the players like each other. “Our team chemistry’s very strong. I always like to compete,” she said. “Challenges are best. It makes you stronger as a player and as a team.”

Alyssa Porras relieved Allie Benson in the fourth inning as the Falcons prevailed 8-0. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Falcons (15-1 and 4-0 in league) forged ahead 1-0 in the second inning on a run-scoring single by freshman Devon Medina off senior Allie Benson, who left after three and two-third frames, walking one and allowing eight hits.

Crescenta Valley added three runs in the fourth inning against Benson as Medina had a run-tallying grounder and junior Alyssa Hernandez a run-scoring triple to left field.

It became 8-0 after a four-run seventh as eight batters trotted to the plate off junior Alyssa Porras, who went three and one-third innings, fanning one and yielding four hits including Dee Dee Hernandez’s run-scoring base hit up the middle and sophomore Maddie De Leon’s three-run, inside-the-park homer to right center.

“The girls are never satisfied,” Crescenta Valley coach Amanda Peek said. ” There are always things that they can correct. We play together as a team. The seventh inning, those girls want to finish. We’re hungry. We want to clean things up.”

Crescenta Valley collected 12 hits off two Burbank pitchers in an 8-0 win. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burbank junior Amaya Broyls led off with a triple to left center in the first inning against Hernandez, who then struck out junior Sarah Garelick looking.

Junior Alex Davis lined to right field and Broyls was caught in a run down and was eventually tagged out.

Senior Anysia Gonzalez was called out on strikes in the second inning, senior Macie Jensen popped to shortstop, senior Erin Lashkari was hit by a pitch and Hernandez struck out senior Bene Snyder looking.

Five batters went to the plate for the Bulldogs in the third frame as junior Desi Gomez and sophomore Katie Treadway both grounded out and Broyls was safe on an error.

Garelick singled to center field as Broyls moved to second base, but Davis was caught looking at strike three.

The Bulldogs garnered five hits off freshman Crescenta Valley pitcher Dee Dee Hernandez. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Gonzalez opened the fourth inning with a hit to right center and raced to second base on Jensen’s sacrifice bunt.

Lashkari flied to center field and Snyder struck out swinging.

Hernandez worked a 1-2-3 fifth as Gomez fanned looking, Treadway popped to second base and Broyls fouled to shortstop.

Garelick led off the sixth inning with a base hit up the middle and Davis lined to right field.

Gonzalez moved Garelick to second base with a sacrifice, but Jensen grounded out to third base.

The seventh inning saw Hernandez strike out three batters as Lashkari and Snyder were both caught looking while Broyls struck out swinging.

In between, Gomez had a two-out single to right field and scooted to second base when Treadway reached on an error.

Burbank, Burroughs Softball Eyes Successful Campaigns

By Rick Assad
 
 

 

If you’re a softball coach like Burbank High’s Mike Delaney and Burroughs’ Wes Tanigawa, it’s smart to set reachable goals because it gives the players something to strive for.

The Bulldogs, who went 12-14 overall and 8-6 in the Pacific League, didn’t reach the CIF Southern Section playoffs in 2017.

Burroughs ended last season with a CIF Southern Section first-round loss to Oaks Christian. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

For the Indians, who finished 19-9 and 12-2 in league, they did, but fell 7-0 to Oaks Christian in the first round of the playoffs.

Burbank has a 3-1 record this season after participating in the Hart Tournament, and will begin the league portion of its schedule with a game at Arcadia on March 27.

The Bulldogs will host the Indians on April 12 in a classic showdown and then visit the Indians on May 10.

Burbank hopes to reverse its fortunes in 2018 and qualify for the postseason. There’s good reason this will be the case because the team is balanced with a fair amount of experience.

“If we play like we did in the fall, then I think we’re going to be pretty good,” Delaney said. “But we can’t make mistakes like we did last year.”

Delaney also thinks that it will be a close race for the league banner. “Crescenta Valley and Burroughs have the edge with regard to pitching,” he said. “It comes down to how we adapt to pitching. We’re pretty composed. We’re working hard for each other. I like the mix we have this year.”

One key player, senior infielder/outfielder Melissa Daniel, an honor student with designs on attending Harvard University, will not play in order to concentrate on her classes.

Burbank, shown in a game against powerhouse Crescenta Valley, failed to make the CIF Southern Section playoffs in 2017, but are gunning to make the field this season. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Daniel finished with a .368 batting average, 19 runs scored along with 19 runs batted in and two home runs.

The infield is set with senior Erin Lashkari, who batted .339, with 15 runs and led the Bulldogs with 21 RBIs, at first base.

The tandem of senior Macie Jensen and junior Amaya Broyls will hold down second base.

Jensen posted a .297 batting average, with 14 runs and 12 RBIs, while Broyls batted .354 with 21 runs tallied and 12 RBIs.

Sophomore Katie Treadway will play shortstop and batted .245 along with 11 runs scored.

Senior Bene Snyder finished with a .258 batting average, 10 RBIs with 10 runs and will play third base.

Senior Allie Benson will be counted upon to have a solid season for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Broyls will be behind the plate as will junior Desi Gomez, which allows Delaney flexibility.

The left field spot will be manned by junior Sarah Garelick, who hit .314 with 11 RBIs and will also act as the designated hitter/designated player.

Jensen and junior Carly Oldfield will also see time in left field, which once again gives Delaney plenty of options, depending on the team and the pitcher that day.

Center field will be held down by junior Alex Davis, who batted .416 and paced the team with 28 runs scored.

Right field will be patrolled by senior Anysia Gonzalez, who had a robust .457 batting average, which was second on the team and also scored 21 runs with 18 RBIs.

In the circle will be senior Allie Benson along with junior Alyssa Porras and each hurler is capable of strong seasons.

Benson started 13 games, went 6-6, had a 5.77 earned-run average, struck out 47, but issued 73 walks across 64 and one-third innings.

Senior Nikki Ricciardella will play second base for the Indians. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Porras finished 6-7 in 12 games, fanned 61 with 23 walks and posted a 3.57 ERA over 84 and one-third frames.

The rest of the team includes junior Izzy Sanchez, who will play right field, junior Nikki Davis, who drove in four runs and is versatile, having the skill to play first base, third base and catcher and senior Sarah Taylor, who played at Burroughs during her freshman and sophomore years, will be a pinch hitter.

Burroughs, which has a 1-3-1 record this season, begins league play on March 27 when it hosts Glendale.

The Indians will have two young pitchers in the circle, sophomores Sidnie Dabbadie and Isabella Kam.

Burroughs senior ace pitcher, Presley Miraglia, will miss the 2018 campaign in order to get her grades straightened out.

Burroughs is somewhat young when it comes to its infield, but there is still enough talent and includes senior Kaylee Vigil and sophomore Chloe Bookmyer at first base, senior Nikki Ricciardella, and junior Morgan Mersola at second base, juniors Citali Mendez and Lauryn Valencia at shortstop and sophomores Memorie Munoz and Sami Fiorella at third base.

The catching duties will be handled by Fiorella with juniors Megan Williams and Sierra Harvey also helping out.

The outfield is fairly experienced and includes senior Hannah Talavera, senior Jessica Amaya, junior Mia Storer, junior Kaitlin Escamilla and junior Hannah Skinner.

 

Burroughs Softball Blanks Burbank 6-0 For Share Of Third Straight League Title

By Rick Assad

 

There was much riding on the outcome of Thursday night’s Pacific League softball clash between Burroughs High and Burbank at McCambridge Park.

A win by the Indians would assure them of a first-place tie with Crescenta Valley, and a victory by the Bulldogs would give them fourth place, one game ahead of Glendale and a CIF Southern Section playoff berth.

Some members of the Burroughs softball team gather after beating rival Burbank and winning a third consecutive Pacific League banner. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In the end, junior Presley Miraglia was simply too good and in control, striking out 11 and yielding four hits in a 6-0 complete-game shutout in the regular-season finale as the Indians secured a share of a third straight league title.

“Any time we go into a game, we feel good,” first-year Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said. “The way they were focused and settled down, I felt good.”

The Indians (19-8 and 12-2 in league) scurried in front 1-0 in the fourth inning against sophomore Alyssa Porras and added five more runs in the sixth.

The initial tally started when Miraglia (three singles) reached base on an error. Sophomore Citlali Mendez then came in to pinch run and moved to second base on sophomore Mia Storer’s infield hit.

Junior pitcher Presley Miraglia, shown in a recent game, allowed four hits with 11 strikeouts in a 6-0 win over the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Mendez took third base on junior Jessica Amaya’s sacrifice bunt and crossed the plate on junior Nikki Ricciardella’s perfect sacrifice squeeze bunt.

Burbank (12-14 and 8-6 in league) fell behind 6-0 after the five-run explosion that began with a base hit by Miraglia to left field. Once again, Mendez ran for her.

Junior hurler Allie Benson replaced Porras and faced Storer, who was safe on an error.

Pinch hitter Kaitlin Escamilla, a sophomore, drew a walk to load the bases and Ricciardella was hit by a pitch which forced in a run.

The key blow was delivered by senior Amanda Flores (two hits), who clubbed a two-run double to right center.

Porras re-entered and allowed an infield single to pinch hitter, sophomore Morgan Mersola, that scored a run and two batters later, senior Lauren Lopez added a run-scoring single to right field.

“It got away from us,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said. “We simply made too many key mistakes.”

Miraglia worked a perfect first and fanned all three batters before allowing a one-out single in the second inning to right center by junior Erin Lashkari, who went to second base on sophomore Sarah Garelick’s sacrifice bunt.

But Miraglia then collected herself and struck out junior Macie Jensen swinging.

Miraglia then fashioned a 1-2-3 third and fourth inning, striking out freshman Katie Treadway in the third and fanning junior Anysia Gonzalez in the fourth.

“My pitching coach worked with me to get my pitches down,” Miraglia said. “I needed to fix my level of pitches. I knew what I had to do.”

Delaney admitted that Miraglia was throwing hard and also keeping the ball down, but said they were perhaps too anxious. “We didn’t decide what part of the plate to swing at,” he pointed out.

Miraglia retired Lashkari to open the fifth inning on a liner to center field and then struck out Garelick looking.

Jensen reached first on a miscue and then stole second, however, Miraglia settled down and induced junior Bene Snyder to line out to first base.

Miraglia began the sixth inning by fanning senior pinch hitter Alyssa De La Torre, but surrendered an infield single to sophomore Alex Davis.

Miraglia whiffed sophomore Amaya Broyls, but allowed a single to left by junior Melissa Daniel, only to strike out Gonzalez swinging.

Miraglia induced Lashkari to ground out to begin the seventh, but Garelick laced a single to right center.

Jensen popped up for the second out and Snyder grounded out to seal the victory.

Porras allowed seven hits and struck out two with two walks in seven innings while Benson walked a batter, hit a batter and gave up one hit.

Burbank Softball Falls Behind Early To Crescenta Valley, Loses 8-5

By Rick Assad

 

For all intents and purposes, two innings doomed the Burbank High softball team when it faced Crescente Valley on Thursday afternoon at McCambridge Park.

Getting the early jump, the Falcons scored three runs in the first and second innings and held on for an 8-5 Pacific League triumph.

“After that we settled down,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said of the first two frames. “They put pressure on you and we didn’t handle that pressure very well.”

Alex Davis had a double in the first inning of an 8-5 loss to Crescenta Valley, but didn’t score. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Eight batters trotted to the plate in the opening stanza against sophomore Alyssa Porras, who went one and two-third innings initially, two and two-third overall, walking five with six hits allowed.

Five of the first six batters were safe including a bases-loaded walk to sophomore Viviana Bocanegra that forced in senior Jessica Yzaguirre (four hits), who led off with an infield single.

Sophomore Ryan Eldred (three singles) later added a two-run smash to right field that brought home sophomore Alyssa Hernandez, who walked and freshman Maddie De Leon (three hits), who drilled a single up the middle.

Crescenta Valley’s cushion was extended to 6-0 in the second inning when nine hitters marched to the dish.

Allie Benson entered as a reliever and held her own over four and one-third innings. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

De Leon’s two-out booming triple to left center scored Yzaguirre, who was safe on an infield single and Hernandez, who walked.

It became 6-0 on a bloop single to right center by Bocanegra off junior Allie Benson, who went four and one-third innings, walking six, with three hit batters, six hits surrendered and one strikeout, that brought in De Leon.

“Our pitchers were not hitting their spots,” Delaney said of his duo that combined to allow 11 walks and 12 hits with three hit batters.

Burbank (11-13 and 7-5 in league) cut the lead to 6-1 in the bottom of the second when junior Bene Snyder (two hits) had an infield single off junior Emily Mulcahey (seven innings while scattering 12 hits, walking two, with four strikeouts and one hit batter) that drove in junior Macie Jensen, who walked.

Melissa Daniel slides into third base during a two-run third inning versus the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs chipped away and made it a three-run deficit with a two-run third inning as sophomore Sarah Garelick (two hits) rifled a single to center field that knocked in junior Melissa Daniel, who led off with a walk and junior Anysia Gonzalez, who reached base on an infield single.

“We’re a confident offensive team,” Delaney noted. “We don’t fear too many pitchers. But we had three strikeouts in critical situations.”

Burbank trimmed Crescenta Valley’s lead to 6-4 with a tally in the fourth inning when Daniel’s double to left field plated sophomore Amaya Broyls, who singled to center.

A two-run frame in the sixth by the Falcons (18-7-1 and 10-2 in league) pushed the lead to 8-4 as Eldred led off with a single to right center and later came around on an error while sophomore Peyton Hause’s run-scoring hit to center scored sophomore Kristy Taix, who laid down a sacrifice bunt and went to second base on an error.

The Bulldogs made it a three-run deficit with a run in the seventh when junior Erin Lashkari clubbed a long leadoff triple to left center and crossed the plate on Jensen’s single to right field.

Burbank sophomore Alex Davis doubled, junior Anysia Gonzalez singled twice and freshman Katie Treadway also singled.

Burroughs, Burbank Softball Campaign Is Underway

By Rick Assad

 

Like its counterpart baseball, pitching is worth at least 75 percent in softball and if it’s true, then Burroughs High and Burbank are on solid footing in Presley Miraglia and Allie Benson.

How these two junior hurlers perform in the circle will dictate the Indians and Bulldogs overall success.

The Burroughs High softball team is ready for another run at the Pacific League banner. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

This is especially true when it comes down to who will be dominant in the Pacific League.

There is one change and that is the departure of Burroughs coach Doug Nicol, who was highly successful.

The new man in charge of the Indians’ program is Wes Tanigawa, and his expectations are the same as Nicol’s.

“No one ever knows what you’re stepping into,” Tanigawa said of being the head man. “There’s a lot of work. But Doug has been there for me and that’s really helped me make the transition.”

Burbank High’s softball team huddles with Coach Mike Delaney in a recent practice. The Bulldogs are also eyeing the Pacific League title. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Tanigawa said he wants to put a good product on the field.

“I’m hoping the girls are doing what they need to do in order to keep doing what they did last season. If they do, then we’ll be all right.”

So far this season, the Indians are 4-1 and begin the league campaign on March 28 at Pasadena.

Burroughs will host archrival Burbank on April 19 and visit the Bulldogs on May 11.

In 2016, the Indians went undefeated in league action at 14-0, were 21-4 overall and advanced to the CIF Southern Section semifinals.

Miraglia, who posted an earned-run average of 1.41, was in the middle of this and the right-hander will be the focal point again.

“Presley was always willing to step up to the plate and give it her all,” Tanigawa said. “She’s been in the program now for three years and she works extra hard.”

The Indians are working on their infield drills which are always critical to any success. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Tanigawa continued: “Presley is a very talented pitcher and knows that she has a lot on her shoulders.”

Miraglia is backed up by junior Mia Storer, who saw some time in the circle last season.

The Indians’ infield includes junior Amanda Flores at first base, junior Nikki Ricciardella at second base, senior Lauren Lopez at shortstop, senior Brianna Johnson at third base and the tandem of sophomore Megan Williams and junior Kaylee Vigil at catcher.

Sophomore Jessica Amaya will patrol left field, junior Hannah Talavera is the center fielder and senior Tati Caceres will play right field.

The Bulldogs are likewise also working on infield play. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The reserves will be freshman third baseman Memorie Munoz, sophomore Kaitlin Escamilla in left field, sophomore Morgan Mersola at second base, sophomore Citlali Mendez at shortstop, senior Makena Savola at first base, and freshman Chloe Bookmyer in right field.

Meanwhile, for Burbank, this season is an opportunity to redeem itself from the previous campaign in which it went 11-17 and 8-6 in league with an opening-round loss to Paramount in the playoffs.

Outfield defense is often overlooked, but Burroughs makes sure everything is in order. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Longtime Coach Mike Delaney is optimistic despite starting the campaign winless in four games.

The Bulldogs commence league action on March 28 against visiting Glendale.

“Overall, we’re better than we were last year,” he said. “The hitting is stronger, one through nine. They have a plan at the plate. This is a more mature and experienced team.”

The league race is going to be a battle. “It’s competitive as always,” Delaney said. “Burroughs is always tough to beat and Crescenta Valley seems to play well under [Coach] Amanda Peek.”

Delaney said the team gets along, and that’s going to help. “I don’t mind being the underdog,” he said. “You play freer. They’re really close-knit with good chemistry.”

Much is expected of the right-handed Benson, who went 7-7 in 2016. Benson is going to be backed up by sophomore Alex Davis and freshman Savannah Davis.

“Allie is a lot more confident this season,” said Delaney of his ace. “She has a game-plan and she worked hard in the off-season. She’s made really good progress.”

The old saying that practice makes perfect isn’t lost on the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sophomore Amaya Broyls is the primary catcher while senior Alyssa De La Torre and sophomore Nikki Davis will also see time behind the plate.

“Amaya can play all eight positions except pitcher,” Delaney noted of his young backstop.

Burbank’s infield consists of juniors Erin Lashkari and Melissa Daniel at first base, junior Macie Jensen at second base, freshman Katie Treadway at shortstop and junior Bene Snyder at third base.

“Melissa has good power and is good defensively,” Delaney said. “Macie, who batted .310, will fill in the power spots in the batting order [3-5], and I’m happy with her defense.”

Delaney added: “Katie is only a freshman and she learned a lot over the fall. She has great speed and range,” he said. “Bene understands her swing.”

The Bulldogs’ outfield will have Alex Davis in center field, junior Anysia Gonzalez in right field and sophomore Sarah Garelick in left field.

Delaney had glowing remarks about his outfield. “I’m happy with her game,” he said of Davis. “”She’s a good base runner and she’s going to have a breakout year.”

Delaney added: “There aren’t enough positive things you can say about Anysia,” he said. “She’s a really good defender and Sarah is very intelligent.”