Tag Archives: Burbank Senior Softball

Burbank Senior Softball Ready for Little League World Series


Burbank may be known for many things including being the Media City.

The Burbank Senior Softball Little League All-Star team wants to give the city something else to put claim to in its storied history.

Monday evening the team begins to play in the Little League World Series in Lower Sussex, Del., opening against the U.S. Central Region championship team, which is from the Grand Rapids, Mich. Area. The game is slated to start at 5 p.m. PST.

“This team has become a family basically. There’s just something about this team that I feel,” Burbank’s Kaelyn Freed said. “We’ve never made it this far. Our goal was to make it to Montana this year and we’re going to Delaware and our dreams are becoming a reality. This team really came together in Montana. We’ve never made it past the Western Regionals and it feels so good to get past that brick wall.”

With a core of players that have been together for a number of years, coach Rocco Buffolino likes his team’s chances.

“If we pitch and play defense and we swing the bat like tonight, I’m not worried,” Buffolino said after his team’s final practice before departing for Delaware. “We’ve been waiting too long for this. It has been four years. We’re sick of being bridesmaids.  If these kids play their game, we’re fine.”

While every team will certainly come into the tournament motivated, pitcher Annie Buffolino has an added incentive.

“This is going to be my final year playing softball. For me this is such a great experience to be in,” said Annie Buffolino, who plans to concentrate on her golf game.

Burbank City Councilmen Bob Frutos and Jess Talamantes came out to wish the team well at Glendale’s Pelanconi Park, site of its final practice before leaving for the World Series.

“This is awesome for this team. They both represent our two high schools. This is Burbank, we’re the media capital of the world,” Frutos said. “For me, it is quite an honor and great bragging rights to other council members from other cities.”

The team features four Burbank Bulldogs and four Burroughs Indians.

Representing Burbank High are pitcher Savannah Benson, third baseman Lily Stell and outfielders Jordyn Rivero and Victoria Sanchez.

From Burroughs, the team boasts catcher Clarisa Robles, first baseman Melissa Orozco, second baseman Gigi Garcia and outfielder Briyana Ampie.

Freed attends Bishop Alemany High in Mission Hills. Annie Buffolino attends Sherman Oaks Notre Dame but does not play on her school’s softball team. Calista Lee will be a freshman at North Hollywood Oakwood School and outfielder Joselyn Reccelle attends Verdugo Hills High.

“I’m not going to lie. I believe our team can take the whole thing if we play the way we just played in Montana, our team chemistry is really (strong),” Freed said. “We just have to go out and play our game and we have a good shot.”

Coach Buffolino said he likes having the attention of being the team that represents arguably the most talented softball region in the nation.

“I do think we have a bull’s eye on our back. I want people to come at us,” he said. “That will hopefully keep us playing our game.

In pool play, Burbank will play Canadian champion Victoria, British Columbia on Tuesday at noon.

Wednesday Burbank will face Europe/Africa champion Rotterdam, The Hague, the Netherlands at 7 a.m.
Thursday, Burbank will play Southeast Champion Florence, S.C. at noon.

All games will be broadcast on ESPN+.

Burbank Senior Softball Moves to World Series

The Burbank Little League Senior All-Star softball team didn’t want to see its season end in Montana in the Western Region Final.

So the girls found a way to get to put forth their best effort when it counted most.

The result was an 8-1 win over Hawaii and the right to move on to Lower Sussex, Del., in the final Tuesday night in Missoula.

“These kids are amazing and we’re super proud of them,” coach Rocco Buffolino said.
The World Series begins on Monday in Delaware.

Ann Buffolino got the win in Tuesday’s championship game by striking out seven and allowing just one run.

Burbank was strong at the plate, scoring once in the first inning, four more times in the fifth inning and three more runs in the sixth inning.

Burbank had lost its only game to the same Hawaiian team 15-0 earlier in the tournament in pool play.

“We just didn’t hit the ball,” Rocco Buffolino said. “We kicked it around a little bit.”

Rocco Buffolino said his team had already secured a top two spot for the playoff round.

“I didn’t want to show them my aces on the hill and went with one of the other girls,” Buffolino said of his pitching rotation. “We figured she would do all right and we would hit the ball. We just shut down for some reason.”

The Burbank coach said his team came out completely different in the final.

“I wanted them and I knew if we played our game we’d hand it to them and we did,” Rocco Buffolino said. “We wanted to keep our aces hidden and they came out and did their deal today.”

Coach Buffolino said Burbank is now one of 12 teams left worldwide.

“I know we’re in Pool B,” he said.

Of the 12 teams, eight will advance out of pool play with the teams playing teams from the opposite bracket in the knockout stage.

“You can’t hide your kids because you have to win in pool play,” he said.


Burbank Senior Little League Softball Going to West Regionals Again

At the rate of success some of the members of Burbank’s All-Star Senior Little League softball players have enjoyed in recent years, they might actually have enough frequent flier miles to go anywhere they want to go.

For the fourth consecutive year, the same core of girls will be competing out of state, as they travel to Montana to compete in the Western Regional Tournament. The team recently won the District 16 title, which was followed up with a Section 2 Southern California title.

The tournament begins Thursday in Missoula and Burbank will play its first game Friday morning at 9 a.m. against a representative team from the state of Washington.

“We’ve got out of state the last four years,” coach Rocco Buffolino said.
Five of the 12 members on the team have been on all four teams and four others are making their second out-of-state softball appearances.

“There’s almost 60 state championships with all these girls together,” Buffolino added.

Pitcher Ann Buffolino, the coach’s daughter, is one of the five players who have been on four state title-winning teams. She will be a sophomore at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame this fall.

Melissa Orozco, who will be a junior at Burroughs and Clarisa Robles, who will be a sophomore at Burroughs are part of the group that will be making an out-of-state trip for a fourth consecutive year.

Kaelyn Freed, who will be a sophomore at Alemany High and Calista Lee, who will be a freshman at Oakwood School in North Hollywood, are the other two veterans of the team.

Savannah Benson, who will be a senior at Burbank High, as well as Victoria Sanchez, a Burbank High junior, will be making their second out-of-state trip. Also on their second championship team Briyana Ampie, who will be a sophomore at Burroughs, and Joselyn Recelle, who will be a sophomore at Verdugo Hills High.

Jordyn Rivero, who will be a senior at Burbank, as well as Lily Stell, who will be a junior at Burbank and Gigi Garcia, who will be a sophomore at Burroughs, are the only players who will be playing with the group out of state for the first time.

“I tell the kids if you play the game the way it is supposed to be played, you can play with anybody,” Rocco Buffolino said.  “If you throw strikes, you catch the ball, the put the ball in play you have a chance. If you don’t do those things then you’re not going to have a chance.”

He said the experience factor should help his team greatly.

“This should just be we’re out of state playing like it is another game. They’ve all matured in a year,” Buffolino said. “It is amazing the maturity level from last year to this year. It has changed for the better.”