Tag Archives: Citlali Mendez

Burroughs Softball Rallies Past City Rival Burbank 5-4

By Rick Assad

 

There were twists and turns and an eventual resolution in the seventh inning when the Burroughs High softball team faced its arch and city rival Burbank at Olive Park.

A two-run explosion that featured three hits helped propel the Indians to a 5-4 come-from-behind triumph over the Bulldogs in a Pacific League encounter before a near capacity crowd on Friday night.

Dyani Del Castillo was credited with the 5-4 win over Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“It was exciting,” Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said of the one-run thriller. “That’s how you want games, right? You don’t want games boring?”

Tanigawa became serious and added: “I actually think the turning point is when I brought one of my sub players in and she got a great hit,” he said of junior Sabrina Englebrecht, who singled twice. “I think that really motivated the team. It was getting toward the end of the game. The girls were kind of coming down a little bit, but Sabrina coming off the bench with that hit pumped them all up and got everybody into the game.”

Sophomore Dyani Del Castillo began the frame with a bloop single to right field off senior Alyssa Porras and sophomore Alyssa Valenzuela’s hit to left saw Del Castillo advance to second base.

Porras struck out senior Citlali Mendez swinging, but nicked senior Megan Williams, which loaded the bases.

Englebrecht lashed a sharp base hit to center that brought home Del Castillo with the tying run and when senior Hannah Skinner lofted a sacrifice fly to left field, Valenzuela, who contributed three singles, crossed the plate with the winning run.

Alyssa Porras struggled at times and was the hard-luck loser. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I felt calm. l knew I was there already. Runners on really didn’t faze me,” said Skinner of her clutch at-bat in the seventh. “I already had a few hits before, so I knew what I was doing. I knew what she was throwing. When she was throwing all that junk, I knew she was tired at that point. I just stayed on it,” she noted.

Skinner, who singled twice, said that she was somewhat nervous early in the game, but then relaxed.

“It’s always the nerves that get us,” she said. “It’s just the nerves that get to both teams, but I calmed down as the game went on.”

The Bulldogs (4-6-2 and 3-3 in league) leaped ahead 4-3 in the top of the seventh when Porras (two hits) opened the frame with a double to center field off Del Castillo.

Del Castillo’s wild pitch moved Porras to third base and when sophomore Victoria Sanchez lifted a sacrifice fly to center field, Burbank pulled ahead by one run.

Burroughs, which finished with 14 hits, scored two runs in the first inning as Del Castillo’s double to left field brought home senior Mia Storer, who delivered a bloop single to left for a 1-0 edge.

Citlali Mendez unloads a throw during a one-run win over Burbank. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

It became 2-0 on Valenzuela’s base hit up the middle as senior Sierra Harvey, who singled, crossed home plate.

The Bulldogs, who managed five hits, evened it at 2-2 in the second inning as the Indians (7-5 and 5-1 in league) committed three of their four errors.

“It seemed like we played pepper with the left side of their infield today for the first few innings,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said. “You’ve just got to be able to make some adjustments, but it took us a long time to figure that out. It’s an innings game. You can’t waste innings.”

Delaney, who saw his club commit two miscues, continued: “There was a good ebb and flow to the game. We rattled them and they rattled us. Hats off to them. They executed when they had to,” he said. “We battled and that’s what I love about this team. They find ways to score. Every single inning has to matter.”

Desi Gomez, who usually plays third base, was behind the plate for the Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Senior Izzy Sanchez had a run-scoring infield hit in the top of the second frame that scored sophomore Erika Montoya, who led off with a  triple to right field.

In the bottom half of the second, Burroughs reclaimed the lead, 3-2, when Storer’s bloop base hit to center field plated Skinner, who singled to left field.

Burbank evened it at 3-3 with a run in the fifth inning when senior Alex Davis lined a bullet to center field that eluded Storer as she raced around the bases for a home run.

In the sixth inning, Storer made a spectacular diving catch of a potential double or perhaps triple off the bat of Montoya.

The Indians collected 14 hits with five runs against the visiting Bulldogs. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Del Castillo was the winning pitcher after working seven innings, striking out one, walking two and hitting a batter.

Del Castillo induced Davis and senior Amaya Broyls to bounce out to third base in the first inning and after hitting senior Desi Gomez with a pitch, saw sophomore Lily Stell ground out to third.

Del Castillo set down the order in the third inning when Broyls was out after making contract with the ball while out of the batter’s box, Gomez popped to second base and Stell flied to right field.

Del Castillo tossed another 1-2-3 inning in the fourth when Montoya grounded to shortstop, while junior Tiffany Estrada and Izzy Sanchez each bounced back to the box.

Del Castillo’s third perfect frame was the sixth as Montoya lined to center field, while Estrada bounced to third base and Izzy Sanchez grounded to shortstop.

Porras was tagged with the setback, fanning four and hitting three batters across seven innings.

Porras allowed at least one hit in every inning except the fifth when she faced four batters, with Del Castillo the only base runner after getting hit with the pitch.

Part of the 14-hit Indians’ offensive barrage included base hits for Williams and senior Morgan Mersola.

Burroughs Softball Blanked By Crescenta Valley 5-0, Collects One Hit

By Rick Assad

 

Stepping into the batter’s box and facing Crescenta Valley High pitcher Dee Dee Hernandez’s impressive arsenal isn’t an enviable task.

On Tuesday afternoon at Olive Park, the Burroughs softball team found out exactly just how tough the sophomore is after taming the Indians 5-0 and throwing a one-hitter across seven frames in a Pacific League game.

Freshman pitcher Kelsey Acosta went four innings and allowed six hits with four runs against the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Hernandez didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning when senior Hannah Skinner lined a sharp single to left field.

What followed were three consecutive outs as junior Chloe Bookmyer flied to left field, senior Mia Storer popped to second base and senior Sierra Harvey grounded to second base.

“It’s CV. They’re a good hitting team. They’ve got a good pitcher. It’s all mental,” said Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa, whose team is 3-4 and 2-1 in league. “The girls just gotta learn how to focus better.”

Tanigawa then added: “They feel pressure because they know this is a really good pitcher and they want to show they can do something,” he said. “They just have to learn to slow down the game.”

Hernandez toiled seven effective innings, struck out seven batters without issuing a walk and seemed cool as a cucumber.

Hernandez seized control from the outset, striking out freshman Kelsey Acosta and junior Isabella Kam swinging and inducing junior Sabrina Englebrecht to fly to center field.

Chloe Bookmyer shown taking a big swing against Dee Dee Hernandez, who tossed a one-hitter. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We’re just grinding,” said Crescenta Valley coach Amanda Peek, who saw the Falcons improve to 9-2-1 and 2-0 in league. “The girls didn’t come out like they wanted to today. Dee Dee’s a grinder. Our girls who show up daily, showed up today.”

Peek added: “Defense wins championships and that’s our mindset. Hitting comes and goes,” she noted.

Hernandez worked a perfect second inning as Skinner grounded to first base, Bookmyer bounced to second base and Storer fanned looking.

Harvey led off the third inning by grounding to shortstop, senior Citlali Mendez, who came into the game as a replacement for senior Lauryn Valenzuela at shortstop, then lined to shortstop and junior Memorie Munoz struck out swinging.

Hernandez worked a 1-2-3 fourth frame, fanning Acosta and Kam swinging and then getting Englebrecht to bounce back to the box.

Mia Storer takes her hacks against Dee Dee Hernandez, who went seven innings. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Mendez fouled out to third base to begin the sixth inning, Munoz popped to third base and sophomore Dyani Del Castillo, who relieved Acosta in the fifth inning, grounded to third base.

Kam opened the seventh inning by bouncing back to Hernandez, senior pinch hitter Morgan Mersola struck out swinging and Skinner popped to third base for the game’s final out.

The Falcons’ offense started off early against Acosta, who was making her first start against the defending league champions.

Acosta was admittedly nervous before her outing, but throws hard and accurate and seemed confident in the circle.

In four innings, Acosta, who will learn how to throw a changeup, allowed six hits with three strikeouts and one walk.

Del Castillo worked three innings, fanning three, walking three, hitting one batter and surrendering three hits.

Crescenta Valley collected just one hit off Acosta in the first inning, but it produced two runs as freshman Izzy Jamgotchian lined a double to left field as senior Alyssa Hernandez, who was safe on an error and Hernandez, who walked and had a pinch runner enter for her, both scored to make it 2-0.

Alyssa Hernandez and sophomore Stephanie Wichman each collected two singles for the Falcons.

Jamgotchian advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt from senior Kristy Taix and crossed the plate for a 3-0 lead when senior Peyton Hause was safe on the second error in the inning.

The Falcons added a run in the fourth inning to make it 4-0 when sophomore Morgan Eng drilled a single down the line in the left field, stole second base and scored on an error.

Crescenta Valley waltzed in front 5-0 with a run in the sixth as Dee Dee Hernandez’s two-out grounder brought home Wichman, who was safe on an infield hit.

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.

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.

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.