Tag Archives: Burroughs Softball

A Look Back at the Best of 2018

The 2018 year in sports in Burbank was not the best, nor the worst on record. The best individual performances were in track and field, as Burroughs Jagdeep Chahal was the CIF Southern Section Division 1 champion in the boys 1,600 meters. Elizabeth Switzer led the Burroughs girls’ track team by qualifying for the state championships in the pole vault. Burroughs golfer Kiara Hernandez was also outstanding in being the best in the Pacific League. The following is a look back at the best teams that Burbank and Burroughs highs put forth in 2018.

10. Burroughs boys soccer
The Indians went 15-9-1 in 2018 and finished second in the Pacific League with a young core that was made up mostly of sophomores.
Carlos Rosales led the midfield and Carter Wells became the heart of the defense. Freshman Manny Gonzalez scored 16 goals, a program record under coach Mike Kodama. This group will get only better in 2019 and 2020.
9. Burroughs softball
The Indians finished runner-up to Crescenta Valley in the Pacific League standings. But Burroughs once again put together a solid season, finishing with a 14-5-1 record and advancing to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs. Pitcher Presley Miraglia moved to play at Cal State Long Beach.
8. Burroughs girls soccer
The Indians had a stellar season going 15-3-3 overall to place second in league. Burroughs won its first CIF Southern Section playoff game since 2009 with a wild-card victory over Brentwood School. Freshman Lauryn Bailey and junior Abbie Riggs were two of the Indians’ key offensive players. Olivia Cashman and Emily McHorney were two other top players.
7. Burroughs girls cross country
The Indians finished second in the Pacific League behind Burbank, ending a domination by Crescenta Valley and or Arcadia, that had won the league title every year for more than a quarter century. Burroughs also went on to advance to the CIF Southern Section finals. Sophomore Jordan Guzman and freshman Sophia Navarro led the way for a team that figures to have created arguably the most competitive rivalry with Burbank High of any in the city.
6. Burbank football
The Bulldogs turned in yet another fine season, even though they lost the league title to Arcadia. Burbank won every game it was expected to win and put together a fine 7-4 campaign. Seniors Matthew Porras, Erik Harutyunyan and Duncan Smith will definitely be remembered for the mark they left at the school and all are projected to play in college.
5. Burroughs girls basketball

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Indians turned in another fine season in 2018, finishing with a 23-8 record and a share of the Pacific League title. The team was blessed with a solid freshmen core who are now sophomores, led by Faith Boulanger and Kayla Wrobel. This has consistently been one of the top teams in the city under veteran coach Vicky Oganyan and that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon.
4. Burbank boys track and field

The Bulldogs captured the Pacific League dual meet title in coach Darin Wolf’s final season. Burbank counted on hurdler Sergio Aguilar, as well as a solid sprint crew led by Cole Le’au, Oladele Hospidales and Bryan David. Victor Goli led a deep and young distance running core.
3. Burroughs girls volleyball

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The Indians had an outstanding season under coach Edwin Real. capturing the Pacific League title. Burroughs went 27-9 and reached the quarterfinals of the CIF Southern Section 3 playoffs, narrowly losing to eventual CIF champion Village Christian in five games. Juliana Van Loo went on to earn All-CIF honors. Burroughs figures to be strong again next year with Lydia Grote returning to lead the way.
2. Burroughs boys volleyball

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians won their ninth consecutive Pacific League title under coach Joel Brinton. Burroughs also advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs, only to be eliminated by national power Loyola of Los Angeles. Diego Rosal and Cole Kaitz were the leaders for Burroughs.

1. Burbank girls cross country

Sol Fernandez

The Bulldogs won their first league title outright since 1978 and advanced to the CIF Finals, finishing 10th in Division 1. Burbank was led by senior Shalom Mejia and junior Sol Fernandez. Although this was an experienced group that will lose several top runners to graduation, there is a great group coming up replace those that will depart. Expect Burbank to be very strong again in 2019.

Looking Back at 2017 in Sports

A year after arguably the most successful year local sports teams have ever had, 2017 turned out to be almost equally as strong. A number of athletes and teams achieved many things to be proud. This is a review of the top 10 teams of 2017 from Burbank and Burroughs highs.

  1. Burbank Boys Basketball

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

The Bulldogs may have not won a Pacific League title, but their postseason run was nothing short of amazing. Burbank finished with a 25-10 record and came as close to winning as a CIF title as one could have, losing only by one point on an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer against Brentwood. In its playoff run, the Bulldogs defeated teams few gave them a chance of winning. Burbank defeated  La Sierra of Riverside, followed by second seeded Crean Lutheran and then Rancho Mirage, whose shortest starter was as tall as Burbank’s tallest. The Bulldogs also rallied from a 13-point deficit against Rancho Mirage. Michael Woods was the leader of the group of seniors who had played together for several years, ultimately resulting in arguably the best season in school history.

  1. Burbank Football

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A year after getting to the CIF championship game, Burbank was hit hard by losses to graduation. But the Bulldogs still had a small core that knew what it was like to win. This team, unlike the team a year ago, went on to win the Pacific League title under first-year coach Adam Colman. Burbank also knocked off top-seeded  South Hills during its playoff run before falling to Don Lugo in the CIF semifinals.  The Bulldogs have a lot of talent coming back for next season, so this team has lots to look forward to in 2018.

 

  1. Burroughs Boys Soccer

Photo courtesy Christina Quintero

The Indians put together a stellar season as longtime head coach Mike Kodama earned his 10th league title. Burroughs went 19-5-4 overall and 11-2-1 in league. The Indians won a pair of CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoff matches, including one on the road and in the rain against Paso Robles. Eventually Burroughs’ run was stopped by a fine Salesian side.

 

  1. Burroughs Boys Volleyball

The Indians continued their streak of eight consecutive Pacific League titles by finishing 16-13 overall and

10-0 in league. While the record may not look impressive, Burroughs was playing against the toughest competition out there, playing in Division 1 in the CIF playoffs. The Indians outlasted Newbury Park in the first round of the playoffs, before falling to national power Huntington Beach in the second round.

  1. Burbank Girls Tennis

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Bulldogs finished 11-5 overall and third in the tough and deep Pacific League and had to win a wild card match just to make it into the main draw. They did that and went on to win two more CIF Southern Section Division 2 playoff matches before falling to top seeded Northwood of Irvine in the quarterfinals.

  1. Burroughs Girls Volleyball

Led by University of Washington bound outside hitter Marin Grote, the Indians went 28-7 and captured the Pacific League title. Burroughs advanced to the second round of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs before losing to Westridge of Pasadena.

 

  1. Burroughs Boys Water Polo

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians went 15-9 and fought off Hoover to win the Pacific League title. A year after winning a CIF title, Burroughs moved up to Division 3, where it advanced to the second round of the playoffs before losing to Dos Pueblos of Goleta.

  1. Burroughs Softball

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians were not as sharp as they have been in the past. Still they were able to earn a share of the Pacific League title, going 19-9 overall and 12-2 in league. Playing in Division 1, the Indians were not so fortunate in the playoffs, losing to Oaks Christian in the first round.

  1. Burroughs Boys Cross Country

Alexander Hirsch of Burroughs

This very talented veteran group actually struggled for much of the season, but came on strong in Pacific League Finals to top a fine Arcadia squad for second place on the Apaches’ home course. Arcadia had defeated Burroughs in the first two league meets. Jagdeep Chahal also took home honors as the league’s individual champion.

  1. Burbank Girls Cross Country

Shalom Mejia of Burbank

The Bulldogs went neck and neck with Burroughs all season, with Burbank taking the first league meet by a large margin. Burroughs bounced back and beat Burbank narrowly twice. But the Bulldogs make the cut here due to its qualification for CIF Finals, where Burbank finished 20th in Division 1.  It was just the third time in program history that the lady Bulldogs qualified for CIF Finals.

 

2016 Was a Year to Remember in Sports for Burbank and Burroughs

If there is one thing most people in Burbank will agree on it is that 2016 was the best year on record for sports at Burroughs and Burbank highs.

Three teams appeared in CIF Southern Section championship games or matches and that isn’t counting Burroughs boys’ cross country team, which also put together a solid season.

Myburbank.com takes a look at the top 10 teams of the 2016 calendar year.

10. Burbank boys’ basketball

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The young Bulldogs’ squad put together an impressive season going 20-11 overall, 8-6 in league. But it was postseason play that earned this team on this list. Led by junior Michael Woods, Burbank reached the quarterfinals of the Division 2-AA playoffs.  Burbank won on the road at Garden Grove and then defeated El Toro. Both opponents came in having won more than 20 games. In the quarterfinals, the Bulldogs hung tough for a long time before falling to Loyola of Los Angeles.

9. Burroughs baseball

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians (19-7) started the season as hot as any team, winning the prestigious Easton Tournament by defeating eventual CIF Southern Section Division 1 finalist Harvard-Westlake in the final. The Indians went on to earn a share of a second consecutive Pacific League crown, despite losing virtually its entire starting lineup to graduation from the previous year. It was the first time in school history that Burroughs won league titles in consecutive years. Burroughs’ season ended in the first round of the CIF playoffs with a loss to Rancho Cucamonga. Highlights included pitcher Kyle Nicol signing a letter of intent with Cal State Northridge. Teammate Shaine Leonard signed with the University of Antelope Valley.

8. Burroughs boys’ basketball

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians put together a 22-8 season and reached the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1-A playoffs for the first time since 1990, when Burroughs was knocked out by an Artesia team that featured future-NBA players Ed and Charles O’Bannon. In 2016, Burroughs lost to Santa Monica, the eventual CIF champion. Junior Tristen Hull earned All-CIF honors. Guard Steven Hubbell signed with California Lutheran University. Coach Adam Hochberg stepped down after the season to spend more time with his family.

7. Burbank boys’ track

The Bulldogs won a league title in boys’ track and field for the first time in 31 years. Burbank also did it without relying too much on its distance runners, which have traditionally been the strength of the program. Hurdler Martin Swan, jumper Noah Powell and sprinters Josh Cantong and Joey Miller were the leaders of the team. All four qualified for the CIF finals as a 1,600 meter relay team.

6. Burroughs boys’ cross country

(Photo by © Ross A. Benson)

This is a team that going into the season looked like a strong contender to win its second CIF title in three years and one that could have very easily been the top team in the city. The Indians shared the Pacific League title with Arcadia even though Burroughs won two of the three league meets and only lost on a sixth man tie-breaker in the league final. Burroughs ran very well in CIF preliminaries and looked like a serious contender to win in the finals. But this team fell well short and surprisingly missed qualifying for the state meet. This team should be motivated for next season after this season’s disappointing finish. Several key runners return next season led by Alexander Hirsch, Jagdeep Chahal and Jacob Calderon. A CIF title is within reach in 2017.

5. Burroughs girls’ basketball

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians dominated league by going 14-0, 24-8 overall and reaching the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 1-A playoffs.  Ironically, Burroughs lost on the road in the semifinals at Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach. Mira Costa then lost in the final to Crescenta Valley, a team Burroughs defeated twice in winning the Pacific League. Jordan Meltzer led the Indians as she shared the Pacific League Player of the Year honor with Crescenta Valley’s Alissa Shin.

4. Burroughs softball

The Indians had an outstanding season led by sophomore pitcher Presley Miraglia, who was named the Pacific League Player of the Year and earned All-CIF honors for a second time. Burroughs went 24-5 on the season and lost 7-0 in the semifinals of the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs to Grand Terrace, the eventual champion and one of the top rated teams in the nation. Coach Doug Nicol stepped down after the season so he could spend more time watching his kids play sports in college.

3. Burroughs boys’ water polo

A CIF champion in the third spot some might say? Yes, Burroughs had an outstanding season in winning the CIF Southern Section Division 5 title. However, one must remember the Indians did not win the Pacific League title. Their opposition in the playoffs was certainly not elite. There are also some questions marks around this team as several key players have not been students at Burroughs throughout their entire high school careers. In fact, several are transfers from Burbank High. But this team will almost certainly be higher up on the list next year as the main core of players return for their senior seasons, led by CIF MVP David Arakelyan, J.J. Ambartsumyan and Marko Vucetic.

2. Burbank football

The Bulldogs captured the hearts of many of the city. For the first time in 30 years a local football team played for a CIF Southern Section title.

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

After finishing second in the Pacific League, the Bulldogs were clearly a different team in the playoffs, dominating most of their opponents until the final when it was bothered by an unexpected call of Mother Nature. Still nobody will forget this group that grew up together led by Guy Gibbs, Nick Warren, Forest Fajardo and Jake Kelley. These kids should all be in the Burbank High Sports Hall of Fame one day.  Coach Richard Broussard stepped down at the end of the season.

1. Burroughs boys’ volleyball

Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

The Indians won their seventh consecutive Pacific League title and were clearly the most talented team in the city. Led by a veteran group that included setter Ryan Van Loo and outside hitters Andrew D’Almada and Cameron Capili, the Indians overcame a loss to Oak Park in the CIF Southern Section championship by defeating that same team a week later in CIF Southern California State Regional tournament.

 

In closing, it was very hard to make a top-10 list. There were a couple of teams that were very good that did not make the list but deserve honorable mention. Those were the Burbank and Burroughs girls’ soccer teams. The Burroughs boys’ soccer team also had a solid season as did the Burbank girls’ tennis team, the Burbank girls’ basketball team and Burroughs girls’ golf team and volleyball teams.

We want to wish the best of luck to all Burbank and Burroughs teams in 2017.

 

Cheyenne Steward, Burroughs Softball

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

One throws with power and strength while the other tosses with grace and efficiency. Both are scintillating softball performers for Burbank and Burroughs High School, respectively. They are the queens of the circle and two of the best pitchers in the region.

A year ago, myBurbank wrote a story featuring the talents of Burbank star, Caitlyn Brooks. Her ability to overpower the opposition led the Bulldogs to their first league title since 1987. Brooks’ dominating style helped end a string of three consecutive league titles by the Indians.

Cheyenne Steward

Cheyenne Steward

With the first of two meetings between the two schools less than a month away, we take a look this year at Burroughs’ gem on the diamond, Cheyenne Steward. The senior will play a major role in the Indians’ quest to regain the league championship.

“Cheyenne is our quiet leader on the team. We have players who are more vocal but she leads in a quiet way and by example,” Burroughs coach Doug Nicol said. “Once she became committed and she got focused on what she needed to do this year, she’s been pitching very well. She’s been on point at practice and at games. She’s a great girl.”

A year ago, Steward recorded a 9-3 record with a 2.29 earned run average with four shutouts as the No. 2 pitcher on the staff. She batted .431 with a team-best nine doubles and five home runs as JBHS finished 19-9 and 10-4 in league.

“I wasn’t always a pitcher but when I started to pitch I didn’t think of myself that highly,” Steward said. “But when I started to work on it more, going to lessons and practicing all the time, I could tell that I could do something great.”

This year Steward has assumed the role as the Indians’ ace and thus far has been effective through the team’s first 12 games.

Steward has a 3-2 record with a 2.10 era and two saves. At the plate, Steward is hitting a blistering .421 and a team-leading 11 RBI’s. Her on base percentage (.522) and slugging percentage (.789) ranks second on the squad.

The journey for Steward has been a special one. The four-year lettermen reflected upon her high school career and what it has meant to her as a person and player.

“It’s been a great journey. They are my family,” Steward said of her teammates. “I couldn’t ask for a better program because we work hard and we are successful. We come together when it matters most. It’s just been so much fun. I know when I pitch I have all these great players to back me up. It’s just amazing. I couldn’t ask for anything more. It’s been a great time.”

While Brooks fires the heat from the circle, Steward relies on control and accuracy to outduel her opponents. Her calm, cool demeanor and attention to detail has enabled Steward to be successful.

Cheyenne Steward is the Indians' ace in the circle (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Cheyenne Steward is the Indians’ ace in the circle (Photo by Dick Dornan)

“She is a finesse pitcher who relies on location and movement which she is really mastering right now,” Nicol said. “If she keeps the ball down and hits her spots and keeps the hitters off-balance, she is extremely tough to hit.

“We have relied on her the last few years. Last year Cheyenne was one of our top pitchers and players in the lineup. This year I expect big things from her. I think she can be one of the surprise pitchers in this region.”

Burroughs (8-3-1) begins league play on Tuesday at home against Glendale. With Brooks back again for the Bulldogs along with a host of other returners, Burbank is considered the frontrunner to win the league title.

The Indians, Crescenta Valley, Arcadia and Glendale will be the contenders to topple BHS.

“I can’t wait to play Burbank and play our hearts out,” Steward said. “I’m not big on the rivalry but when it comes to it you have this sense of urgency like to win and play your best. It brings out a different side of you. That makes it so much more exciting.”

Steward vs. Brooks will be softball’s version of the Angels’ Jared Weaver going up against the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw. Red vs. blue. Star against star. Two of the Pacific League’s best players will lead their squads into battle as April 24 looms in the distance.

“Sometimes it can be nerve-wracking because the pressure is on you all the time,” Steward said of being the center of attention in the circle. “Being nervous pushes me. It’s a great feeling especially when you pitch a great game.”

Steward has made the most of her opportunity thus far and hopes to close out her Burroughs’ career in a positive manner.

“I look to do my best every day,” she said with a big smile and twinkles in her eyes. “I don’t want to leave the field thinking I could do more but rather how can I make my team better.”

Thinking of others before yourself is life’s greatest treasure. Steward is a shining example of that and her pot of gold gleams with hope and aspirations.

 

 

 

Burroughs Powers by Pasadena, 10-2

By Dick Dornan
MyBurbank Sports Editor

Delaney Nicol of Burroughs (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Delaney Nicol of Burroughs (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Fresh off its tournament title in La Jolla during spring break, Burroughs continued its winning ways with a dominating 10-2 victory against Pasadena Tuesday afternoon at Olive Park. It was the seventh consecutive victory for the Indians who improved to 10-4 overall and 2-0 in league.

Cheyenne Steward threw six innings allowing only one run on six hits as she earned her sixth win of the season. Michelle Santiago had a huge day at the plate going 3 for 4 with a home run, three RBI’s and three runs scored.

“We are doing really good. It’s going to be a good season,” Santiago said. “I think it is hard work that pays off in the end. We work hard all the time and I think we can take league again.”

Pacific League action (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Pacific League action (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Leading 4-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Indians broke the game wide open as they hammered three home runs and tallied six runs.

Home runs by Santiago, Kaitlin Okimoto (three RBI’s) and Lahela Bautista in a matter of six batters ended the hopes of the Bulldogs.

“That inning was great because we finally started to wait on some pitches and not be overly aggressive,” Burroughs Coach Doug Nicol said. “We waited and got our pitches.”

Steward has filled in wonderfully in the absence of the injured Brice Edrington. Steward, who was sick during the trip to La Jolla but still played and pitched effectively, controlled the tempo of the game from the outset.

“I’m working hard and doing what I can. Overall we did great,” Steward said.

“She did well. She’s been sick so her energy was down a little bit and her velocity wasn’t normally where it would be,” Nicol added. “But I thought she did a good job of hitting her spots. And she had good defense behind her. She will be even more effective once she gets her strength back.”

 

 

 

 

Burroughs Wins Softball Tournament in La Jolla

Burroughs Indians (Photo courtesy of Heidi Okimoto)

Burroughs Indians (Photo courtesy of Heidi Okimoto)

 

By Dick Dornan
BurbankNBeyond Sports Editor

 

Duds By Dudes” Tournament

Burroughs won the “Duds by Dudes” tourney in La Jolla by winning all four of its games and not allowing a single run.  After star pitcher Brice Edrington was injured in an automobile accident last week, the Indians came together and played inspired softball.

“I am very proud of the girls.  We have faced a lot of adversity this season and the girls have continued to believe and persevered in tough circumstances.  This weekend was no different,” Burroughs Coach Doug Nicol said. “Brice is our leader in so many ways, both on and off the field.  When she got in her accident just a few days before leaving for the tournament, the team could have felt sorry for themselves.  But they aren’t like that.  They continued to fight and work together and I am so happy for them that they did so well, in light of all the obstacles put in our way.

“We are so young, but our girls have a great spirit and work ethic which enables them to fight through tough situations.  We have a lot of pride, and that came through this weekend.  It was a true team effort where everyone contributed.  I could not be happier.”

 

Saturday, March 23

Burroughs 1 La Jolla Country Day 0 (CHAMPIONSHIP)

In a wild game that featured great pitching and solid defense, the Indians won the championship in extra innings (international tiebreaker) by defeating La Jolla Country Day, 1-0.  Cheyenne Steward was incredible on the day, allowing five hits and notching her fourth consecutive shutout. Burroughs handed La Jolla Country Day (9-1) its first loss of the season.

JBHS softball (Photo courtesy of Doug Nicol)

JBHS softball (Photo courtesy of Doug Nicol)

The Indians could only muster three hits on the day (Michelle Santiago, Delaney Nicol, and Sidney Ortega each had singles), but had numerous opportunities to score as they also drew three walks.  In the 8th inning and with Santiago on second base, Nicol laid down a sacrifice bunt that was bobbled by the LJCD third baseman which allowed Nicol to beat the throw to first.

With runners on first and third, freshman shortstop Kaitlin Okimoto hit a fielders choice to third base that scored Santiago for the games only run.  Steward closed out the game in the bottom of the 8th inning to seal the deal.

Burroughs received fine defense behind Steward, specifically from sophomore outfielder Dominique Santos, who made a great catch in the left centerfield gap in the bottom of the 7th inning, and then quickly threw the ball to second base to turn a double play that saved the game.

Burroughs did not allow a run in the tournament, and Steward has pitched 26 consecutive scoreless innings.  The performance by the Indians is even more impressive when you consider that they were playing without senior pitcher/captain Brice Edrington, who is out for a few weeks after being involved in a car accident last week, and also having lost sophomore infielder Kailanie Oasay for the entire season with an injured shoulder.  Impressively, younger players are stepping in and seizing the opportunity and the Indians are truly playing as a team in their quest for a fourth consecutive Pacific League title.

The Indians are now 9-4 and will continue their Pacific League season on April 2 vs. Pasadena.

 

Burroughs 8 Bishops School 0

Burroughs once again displayed the pitching and defense that enabled them to start the tournament with three straight wins.  However, for the second game in a row the bats came alive and the Indians won 8-0 by mercy rule after five innings.  Burroughs pounded out 16 hits for the game, and scored early and often.  Cheyenne Steward threw her third consecutive shutout, while allowing one hit to lead the Indians in the circle.  Steward, Michelle Santiago, Delaney Nicol, Aimee Rodriguez, Sidney Ortega, and Lahela Bautista all had multi-hit games.

 

Friday, March 22

Burroughs 15 Canyon Crest 0

Burroughs had 16 hits in the game to take out Canyon Crest of San Diego.  Lahela Bautista had two hits, including a 3-run HR, which cleared the left field fence.  Bautista had five RBI’s in the game.  On the mound, Cheyenne Steward pitched a 5-hit shutout, while not walking a batter.

 

Thursday, March 21

Burroughs 2 Monte Vista 0

Burroughs starting pitcher Cheyenne Steward pitched a 1-hit shutout, while also allowing 4 walks to post the victory for the Indians in the first round of the “Duds for Dudes Torrey Invitational” in La Jolla, CA.  Steward got off to a slow start as she walked the bases loaded in the first inning.  However, she settled down and only allowed a single in the 6th inning to frustrate Monte Vista of San Diego.  Junior second baseman Aimee Rodriguez brought the big bat, getting two hits and scoring a run.

Lahela Bautista had the big hit of the game, as she tripled off the right field fence in the 3rd inning, which scored Rodriguez to give the Indians the only run they would need.  Senior captain and pitcher Brice Edrington did not play, and will probably sit out the tournament after being involved in a car accident on Sunday night in Burbank.  She is ok, but will probably be out for a few weeks as she recovers, and Steward will be counted on to log many of the innings as the team moves forward in the tournament.

Burroughs Softball Sets Sail in Quest to Four-Peat

Burroughs will be seeking a fourth consecutive league title (Photos by Dick Dornan)

Burroughs will be seeking a fourth consecutive league title (Photos by Dick Dornan)

 

By Dick Dornan
BurbankNBeyond Sports Editor 

After winning a third consecutive league title a year ago, the Burroughs Indians softball team faces its toughest challenge in 2013. In order to “4-peat” and remain champions of the city, Burroughs must hold off a determined and talented Burbank squad as well as Crescenta Valley and Arcadia.

Defending its title will not be easy. But for Coach Doug Nicol, he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Coach Doug Nicol

Coach Doug Nicol

“We’ve kind of set a standard really high that it would be an insult to the girls who participate in this program if we don’t think about winning a fourth league title in a row,” Nicol said. “Until someone knocks us off, then they are going to have to come and beat us to get it. We are not going to give it to them. My expectation is to win a league title again.”

Nicol, who took over the program in 2011 for Jose Valle, has all the pieces to the puzzle to defend the throne. It’s just a matter of making them fit smoothly and most importantly, cohesively.

Referring to this year’s squad as “very deep,” Nicol will rely on a plethora of young talent to overcome the graduation of its top pitcher and catcher from last season.

“We have great depth. That is our strength,” Nicol said. “We literally have two or three kids at any position that are capable of starting for almost any team in our league.”

Burroughs returns eight lettermen including four starters from a 2012 team that went 24-4 overall and 13-1 in the Pacific League. Replacing All-League pitcher Haley Schulman and All-League catcher Shannon Trujillo are the first priorities of business for Nicol.

Senior captain Brice Edrington

Senior captain Brice Edrington

The lone senior on JBHS, Brice Edrington, and junior Cheyenne Steward, will compete for the No. 1 spot in the rotation.

“Neither of them have been the number one for us before. Until you turn the lights on and they pitch against the really good teams in our non-league games, you don’t know how it will turn out,” Nicol explained. “It’s a matter of us as coaches being able to develop them into the pitchers we need. If we get the pitching, then the rest will follow.”

Edrington, the team’s captain, will have the opportunity to take the mound for the Indians despite not having pitched since the eighth grade.

“It means a lot actually. I decided to take on that role,” said Edrington, a three-year varsity player. “I’m excited because I am the only senior on the team and it’s going to be cool to bond with the younger girls. I’ve taken on the leadership role and I hope to lead them to victory.”

The defense for Burroughs will be a strong point (Photo by Dick Dornan)

The defense for Burroughs will be a strong point (Photo by Dick Dornan)

Her battery mate will be sophomore Michelle Santiago, a first-team all-league selection last season.

“She is a special player. She has all the talent in the world to be the best hitter in the league,” Nicol said.

Junior Aimee Rodriguez, who will see time at first and third base, junior outfielders Sidney Ortega and Jessica Little, sophomore second baseman Delaney Nicol, sophomore shortstop Kailanie Oasay, and freshman Kaitlin Okimoto will also be counted on to contribute right away.

“We have a lot of talent out here. We need to stay strong mentally on the field, having the confidence out there and being able to take discipline,” Edrington said.

Burroughs softball (Photo by DIck Dornan)

Burroughs softball (Photo by DIck Dornan)

Burroughs begins its season on Saturday against Westlake in the Simi Valley Tournament. The Indians will also participate in the “Duds by Dudes” Tournament in La Jolla during spring break.

The quest to win four league titles in a row starts on March 14 at Arcadia at 3:30 p.m.

“I’m super excited. We’ve won three straight league titles. And for the first time in a long time we are not the one with the bull’s eye on our back,” Nicol said. “Now everyone is talking about Burbank and Crescenta Valley. So I think it takes a little pressure off our kids because we’ve been the hunted. I’m excited because I think we have just a good a chance as anybody.”

 

Burroughs Softball Ranked 2nd in Latest CIF Poll – Sweep South Torrance

The Burroughs softball team justified it’s No. 2 ranking in the CIF Southern Section rankings of Division III teams on Thursday, sweeping South Torrance — ranked No. 7 in the same rankings and one of the top programs in Southern California — on its own field.

Burroughs took the opener in extra innings, 2-0. Haley Schulman pitched a complete game 5-hit shutout to earn the win. She is now 6-1 on the season. Schulman allowed only two runners in scoring position and one runner to third base in the win. She topped the Spartans’ Haley Snodgrass — who has committed to Belmont University — who also gave up no runs through the first seven innings.

Burroughs struck for two runs in the top of the eighth inning when with one out Sidney Ortega tripled in the left-center gap and freshman Michelle Santiago came through two batters later with a two-out line-drive single to center field which scored Ortega for the game’s first run. Senior Caitlin Loera then doubled in Santiago and the Indians had a 2-0 lead.

Schulman shutdown the Spartans in the bottom of the inning to give the Tribe the win. Ortega led the Indians with two hits and the game-winning run.

In the night cap, the Indians almost gave one away before holding on for the victory. Freshman Davina Del Castillo pitched effectively in limiting South Torrance to three runs through six innings. However, with 7-3 lead with two outs in the final inning South Torrance mounted a comeback. The Spartans cut the lead to 7-6 and put the tying run on second base on an error.

However, Schulman relieved Del Castillo and escaped the jam, recording her second save on the season. Del Castillo is now 2-0 on the year. Burroughs has an overall record of 8-1, and Schulman has been officially involved in a decision in each game the team has played.

Trailing 3-2 in the 4th inning, Burroughs exploded for five runs to take a 7-3 lead. Shannon Trujillo had a two-run double, and Aimee Rodriguez, Megan McKenna, Del Castillo, and Michelle Santiago had consecutive hits to spark the rally that led to the offensive outburst. South Torrance is now 6-3.

Burroughs has a long layoff over its spring break before opening league on March 27 against the Crescenta Valley Falcons.