Tag Archives: Lily Stell

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+.

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.

Burbank Softball Loses Tough One To Visiting Arcadia 7-5

By Rick Assad

 

Playing shorthanded is a tough way to operate, but the Burbank High softball team had to against Arcadia on Monday afternoon.

Even so, the Bulldogs found enough intestinal fortitude to rally from four runs down in the sixth inning, but then gave up two runs in the seventh inning and lost 7-5 in a Pacific League contest at McCambridge Park.

Alyssa Porras went seven innings and took the 7-5 loss. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burbank managed four hits off sophomore Sophia Garzona, who went seven innings, striking out six and walking three.

Senior Alyssa Porras toured seven frames for the Bulldogs, surrendering 11 hits with three strikeouts and two walks with two hit batters.

The Bulldogs (2-4 and 1-1 in league) were without the services of seniors Nikki Davis and Emily Monterrey along with junior Savannah Benson.

It seemed late in the game that Porras may have been tired, but wasn’t taken out by Burbank coach Mike Delaney.

“We thought about it a couple of times. But where they were in the lineup versus what she was doing with those kids, it didn’t ever come up to it at that point,” Delaney said. “She battled. She missed a few spots, but we didn’t help her with our flat-footedness today. We were flat-footed with our defense.”

The Bulldogs cut Arcadia’s lead to 5-4 with a three-run fifth inning as seven batters trotted to the plate.

Base hits were hard to come by for the Bulldogs, who managed four. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

With none out, senior Izzy Sanchez lined a sharp base hit to center field as senior Sarah Garelick, who walked and sophomore Erika Montoya, who collected a single to left field, both scored.

Senior Alex Davis was safe on a fielder’s choice that scored a run as pinch runner, junior Tiffany Estrada, who came in for Porras, drew a walk.

“Our outfield didn’t help us and our hitting didn’t help us,” Delaney pointed out. “We did not hit in key situations. That’s what we’ve been kind of stressing the last couple of games. We’re all trying to hit the ball over the fence. You hit the ball in the air here, it’s just an out.”

The Apaches (9-1-1 and 2-0 in league) bolted ahead 7-5 in the seventh when senior Deja Westbrook drilled a single to left with one out. Westbrook moved to second base on a grounder by senior Helena Simpson.

Burbank’s infield defense was solid against the Apaches. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

A clanging double to left center by freshman Morgan Howey (two hits) scored Westbrook and Howey crossed the plate when senior Karly Gills roped a base hit to center field.

Burbank evened it at 5-5 with a run in the sixth inning as sophomore Lily Stell clubbed a long one-out triple to right center, and Garelick’s grounder drove in the run.

The Apaches opened up a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Simpson’s single up the middle scored sophomore Averi Wong, who singled to left field with one out.

The Bulldogs tied it at 1-1 in the first inning when Davis led off with a booming triple to right center and crossed the plate on a sacrifice bunt from senior Amaya Broyls.

“I think our hitting is what drives us,” Broyls said. “When we’re hitting line drives in the gap, and when we’re getting good hits off her, it gives us a lot momentum and that’s what helps us.”

Broyls then added: It’s been hard with all the rain and we’ve been trying to practice and some girls have been hurt,” she said. “Being a catcher. Being a senior. Being a captain. There’s a lot of pressure and I feel like I need to lead the team along with the other captains. We have the younger players. We all need to step up and do our job.”

A two-run third inning by Arcadia made it 3-1 as Westbrook lined an inside-the-park homer to center field that plated Wong, who was safe on a force out.

The Apaches’ advantage became 5-1 in the fifth inning when Wong’s triple to right center knocked home sophomore Delaney Prater (two hits), who doubled to left center and Westbrook’s grounder scored Wong.