Tag Archives: Nikki Ricciardella

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 Loses 4-0 Decision In CIF Second Round

By Rick Assad

 

On three occasions, the Burroughs High softball team collected two hits in an inning against Redlands East Valley, but failed to score each time.

In part, this was its undoing as the Wildcats tamed the Indians 4-0 in a CIF Southern Section Division III second-round playoff game at Olive Park on Tuesday.

Burroughs was outhit 10-8 by Redlands East Valley, who often looked to hit the first pitch from senior pitcher Presley Miraglia, but timely hits by the Indians would have likely scored runs.

The Indians collected eight hits but no runs in a CIF second-round playoff loss to Redlands East Valley. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“We missed some key plays,” Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said. “We missed bunts we couldn’t get down. If you make mistakes, you’ll get cancelled out. Our key hitters couldn’t get key hits and that put us in a bind.”

In the third inning, after junior Megan Williams struck out, sophomore Memorie Munoz singled to center field and junior Kaitlin Escamilla was safe on a force out.

Senior Hannah Talavera, who will attend Channel Islands College and perhaps play softball, blooped a base hit to right field, but sophomore Chloe Bookmyer grounded out to third base.

“I had an amazing career. It was an amazing journey. Sophomore year was my favorite,” Talavera said. “I love my teammates. We’ve always had a great time. This is a good team to end it with.”

Talavera then looked at the game. “It was a total team loss. All of us couldn’t produce as a team,” she noted. “There were hits made. There were catches not made. As a team, we were off.”

The Indians (14-5-1) once again had two runners on base via hits in the fourth inning. Miraglia led off by grounding out to shortstop, but junior Mia Storer, who is fast on her feet, was safe on an infield single.

Presley Miraglia ended her four-year stint with a 4-0 setback. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

On the play, the shortstop’s throw slipped slightly past the first baseman, and Storer made a move to run to second base and was subsequently tagged out.

Senior Jessica Amaya rifled a hit to left field, but senior Nikki Ricciardella, who will study at the University of Arizona, grounded out to shortstop.

In the sixth inning, after Talavera grounded out to shortstop, Bookmyer singled to right field, but was erased when Miraglia, who will play at Cal State Long Beach on a softball scholarship, bounced into a force out.

Junior Hannah Skinner came in as a pinch runner and moved to third base on junior Sierra Harvey’s single to right center.

Amaya, who will attend either Cal State Long Beach and not play softball or Mission College, where she will play, struck out to end the threat.

In the seventh, sophomore Isabella Kam opened up the frame with an infield single for the Indians, but was erased after being caught in a run down.

Senior Eva Harvey, who went the distance for the Wildcats while striking out nine, fanned sophomore pinch hitter Sami Fiorella and junior pinch hitter, senior Kaylee Vigil, who will attend Northern Arizona, to end the game.

The Wildcats struck in the first frame against Miraglia, who ended her highly decorated four-year pitching career.

Sophomore Kailie McKee singled to left field with one out and Harvey’s two-out double to left field made it 1-0.

“That’s one of our things that we started from the time we got going,” Redlands East Valley coach Debbie Garcia said. “Aggressive and attack. When you attack, you select the pitches.”

Amaya White steals third base in the second inning while Memorie Munoz waits for the ball. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In the fifth, Redlands East Valley (22-7) sent seven batters to the plate that included a run-scoring triple to left field by McKee that plated junior Autumn Bennett (three hits), who was safe on a one-out single to right.

Redlands East Valley’s advantage swelled to 3-0 in the same stanza on a run-tallying hit by Harvey as McKee scored.

The Wildcats tacked on an insurance run in the seventh as Miraglia yielded three hits including a run-producing single to left field by senior Shelby Arbeiter as Bennett, who led off with a single up the middle, scored to make it 4-0.

Miraglia, who retired the side in order only once, in the sixth inning, escaped trouble in the second when sophomore Amaya White led off and reached on an error.

“I see a lot of improvement. I’m not dissatisfied. I look back and I’m thankful,” said Miraglia, who struck out five with one hit batter over seven innings.

Miraglia then added: “This game, we had a lot more errors than normal. I think I probably could have pitched off the plate a little more, but I was trying to get the out and it worked a majority of the time,” she pointed out.

White then stole second and third base as the Wildcats finished with four stolen bases, but was stranded when Miraglia induced freshman MacKenzie San Pedro to pop up and then struck out junior Samantha Carson and senior Julia Salomon.

In the third inning, Bennett led off with a single to left field and McKee’s sacrifice bunt moved Bennett to second base. Arbeiter popped up to Miraglia and Harvey grounded out to close the threat.

Junior Madison Ferro (two hits) doubled down the left-field line to start the fourth inning, but White bounced back to Miraglia, while San Pedro struck out swinging and Carson flied out to right.

Burbank Softball Rallies For 4-3 Win Over Host Burroughs

By Rick Assad

 

A two-run first inning by the Burroughs High softball team was met with full backing by the home crowd at Olive Park on Thursday night.

Slowly but surely, Burbank chipped away at the lead, eventually evened it and in the top of the eighth scored the go-ahead and winning run as the Bulldogs earned a 4-3 victory in the Pacific League regular-season finale.

Alex Davis led off the frame with a single to right field. Up stepped senior Anysia Gonzalez, who dropped a perfect sacrifice bunt that advanced Davis to second base.

But the bunt hit the ground hard and caromed high into the air. Seeing this, the very speedy Davis pulled into third base.

Hannah Talavera’s two-run homer came in the first inning, but the Indians lost 4-3 to the Bulldogs. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Junior Desi Gomez, who singled up the middle with one out in the second, was the next batter and promptly grounded to second base which plated Davis to make it 4-3.

“I’m just lucky that I did this today,” said Davis, a junior of the winning run. “I noticed that they weren’t covering third and I wanted to take advantage of the mistakes and it ended up working.”

In the home half of the inning and facing junior Alyssa Porras, who surrendered 11 hits with a hit batter and two strikeouts across eight frames, senior Nikki Ricciardella popped up to shortstop.

Sophomore Memorie Munoz struck out looking, but junior Kaitlin Escamilla was safe on an error.

When senior Hannah Talavera fouled out to shortstop behind the third base bag, the game and victory was sealed.

Burbank third baseman Bene Snyder gets the ball over to first base. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burroughs threatened to win it in the seventh inning when sophomore Chloe Bookmyer and senior Presley Miraglia each singled with one out.

But senior Jessica Amaya and junior Megan Williams each popped up to shortstop.

The Indians (13-4-1 and 12-2 for second place in league) sprinted to a 2-0 lead in the opening frame when Escamilla reached on an infield single.

Talavera then found a pitch she could handle and lined it down the left-field line and was able to circle the bases and touch home plate.

Junior Mia Storer blooped a base hit to left field. Bookmyer (three hits) also reach base on a bloop single to center field.

Miraglia lined to center field, Amaya was safe on a force out and Williams popped up to shortstop.

Burroughs senior Presley Miraglia took the 4-3 loss to Burbank. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burroughs made it 3-0 with a tally in the fourth as Munoz singled up the middle with one out.

Escamilla then bounced back to Porras as Munoz went to second base.

A wild pitch saw Munoz advance to third base and when Talavera was safe on an error, Munoz scored.

“We just couldn’t come out and pull the trigger,” Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said. “We just didn’t do what we needed to do. We had hits early. I don’t know if they got overconfident. Or that Presley was going to shut them down.”

The Bulldogs (16-11 and 10-4 for third place in league) sliced the lead to one run with a two-run fifth as senior Macie Jensen clubbed a two-out, two-run homer that found the right center field gap.

“We’re hitting. Something’s going to fall,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said. “The way we’re hitting, it’s just a matter of time. It’s a good win going in to [the CIF playoffs]. To keep their focus is just phenomenal.”

The Bulldogs managed only six hits off Miraglia, but scored four runs. Photo By: Edward Tovmassian

Burbank evened it at 3-3 with a run in the sixth as Gonzalez (two hits) bashed a one-out triple to center field.

Delaney was extremely pleased with the quick-thinking Davis.

“We’ve been practicing that over the last few weeks,” Delaney noted of the intelligent base running of Davis. “Just working on being aggressive on the bases. It’s available once a game. It’s just a straight read on her part.”

Gomez then bunted back to Miraglia, and was safe on a fielder’s choice, but when she flipped the ball a little too high for Williams, the catcher, to handle, Gonzalez found the plate and it was level at 3-3.

Miraglia pitched well enough, but was loser after toiling eight innings, allowing six hits with three strikeouts.

The Indians could have scored in the second inning, but didn’t as Munoz was hit by a pitch with one out and moved to second base and third base on an error.

Munoz remained there as Talavera popped up to shortstop and Storer lined out to center field.

In the third, Bookmyer led off with a single to left field and Miraglia (three hits) singled to right field, but Amaya bounced into a double play and Williams lined to third base.

In the fifth, Miraglia singled up the middle with one out and junior pinch runner Hannah Skinner went to second base on an error and third base on an infield single by Williams.

When Ricciardella hit into a double play, the inning and threat came to a conclusion.

Junior Amaya Broyls led off the fourth inning for the Bulldogs with a single, and moved to second base on Gonzalez’s one-out base hit.

Neither scored as Davis and Gomez fanned and senior Erin Lashkari flied out to right field.

Burroughs Softball Blanked By Crescenta Valley 9-0

By Rick Assad

 

It took exactly two pitches in order for the Burroughs High softball team to fall behind host Crescenta Valley in a Pacific League game on Thursday afternoon.

The Falcons, who finished co-league champions with the Indians, continued their torrid play and collected their ninth straight win after a 9-0 blanking.

Junior Alyssa Hernandez’s leadoff homer to left center off sophomore Isabella Kam made it 1-0.

Freshman Devon Medina’s run-scoring grounder back to the box in the second inning plated junior Kristy Taix, who reached on the first of five Indians’ errors, for a 2-0 edge.

Burroughs managed four hits off freshman pitcher Dee Dee Hernandez, who went seven innings, striking out nine and hitting a batter.

Burroughs second baseman Nikki Riccardella, shown in a game from last season, is one of the leaders. On Thursday, the Indians lost to host Crescenta Valley 9-0. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In the opening frame, the Indians (2-4-1 and 1-1 in league) loaded the bases as six batters went to the plate.

With two out, junior Mia Storer was nicked by a pitch, sophomore Chloe Bookmyer (two singles) clubbed a hit to center field and junior Megan Williams also singled, but the frame ended when senior Jessica Amaya bounced into a force out.

“Against a team like CV, you have to do that,” Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said of taking advantage of scoring opportunities. “I knew we were going to struggle against CV. I take this like we’re going to come out and we’re going to do our best. The girls that I brought up are going to have to step up and compete.”

Burroughs’ two hurlers are indeed young and will need to learn at the varsity level, which isn’t easy.

“We’ve just got to get our pitchers focused,” Tanigawa said. “They’re not used to pitching to teams of this caliber. Once they come up to the varsity level and play a team like CV, that’s a whole different story. This year is going to be a whole learning process for them.”

Kam led off the third inning with an infield single and Bookmyer singled with two out, but Williams fanned looking.

The Falcons (13-1 and 2-0 in league) added a pair of runs in the third as eight came to the plate against Kam, who went three innings while walking two and allowing five hits.

Sophomore Maddie De Leon singled to right center with two out and after junior Peyton Hause walked, Taix rifled a run-tallying single to right field that made it 3-0.

Burroughs, shown in a CIF Southern Section playoff game, struggled at the plate versus Crescenta Valley, collecting four hits. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Hause then crossed the plate for the fourth run as the Indians committed two errors.

A three-run explosion made it 7-0 in the fourth inning as seven trotted to the plate against sophomore Sidnie Dabbadie, who toured three innings, yielding five hits with two walks and a hit batter.

Hernandez had a run-scoring base hit to right center that brought home junior Alyssa Hernandez, who led off with a single to left field and scooted to second on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Natalie Bitetti.

Dee Dee Hernandez’s single up the middle scored Alyssa Hernandez. A single to center by Hause made it 6-0 and it became 7-0 on a miscue as Burroughs committed two in the frame.

“Our biggest thing is that we have all team players,” Crescenta Valley coach Amanda Peek said. “We play together as a team. Team chemistry. No one can beat us if we’re a team.”

The Falcons tacked on two more runs in the fifth when Bitetti drove in freshman Arianna Chavez, who was hit by a pitch.

“There’s a lot to live up to here at Falcon softball,” Peek said. “We have so much potential. We didn’t play perfect today. There’s a lot of things we didn’t execute. If someone doesn’t do it, then the next person is going to pick them up.”

Alyssa Hernandez scored after reaching on a fielder’s choice and crossed the plate on a miscue that made it 9-0.

Hernandez set down the Indians in order during the second inning after fanning senior Nikki Ricciardella, sophomore Citali Mendez and sophomore Memorie Munoz.

Hernandez worked a perfect fourth and went 1-2-3 in the fifth inning as she struck out three batters over those two innings.

The Falcons committed their only error with two out in the sixth inning when sophomore Sami Fiorella reached, but Hernandez induced junior Hannah Skinner to ground out.

The game concluded when Hernandez retired Burroughs in order in the seventh inning.

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 Closes Season With 7-1 Loss To Oaks Christian

By Rick Assad

 

Making the jump to the CIF Southern Section Division I was going to take a leap of faith for the Burroughs High softball team.

When the Indians settled in versus Oaks Christian in an opening-round playoff game Thursday afternoon at Olive Park, an early deficit to the powerful Lions became even bigger and eventually proved insurmountable in a 7-1 loss.

Presley Miraglia came up short in Thursday’s 7-1 loss to Oaks Christian in a CIF Southern Section Division I playoff game. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Burroughs (19-9 and 12-2 for a share of first place in the Pacific League) collected just five singles off sophomore Lexi Berg, who worked seven innings while striking out four and walking two.

“Last year we didn’t have to start at the top,” said Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa of the tough draw. “The girls jumped in with both feet and had to play a really good team in the first round.”

Trailing 7-0 heading into the seventh inning, the Indians, who were in Division II last season, sent seven batters to the plate and cut the Lions’ lead to six runs.

Runs and hits were hard to come by for the Indians versus the Lions. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

With one out, sophomore Mia Storer, who singled with two out in the fourth inning and was left stranded when junior Jessica Amaya (two hits) grounded out, walked and moved to second base on Amaya’s single to center field.

Freshman Chloe Bookmyer entered as a pinch hitter and was safe on a fielder’s choice as Storer advanced to third base and came around on an error.

Junior Nikki Ricciardella also singled in the seventh, but sophomore Kaitlin Escamilla and sophomore Morgan Mersola both struck out.

Brianna Johnson played her final game for the Indians and was disappointed at how the season ended.

“In our league, we don’t face that type of pitcher,” said the senior third baseman of the hard-tossing Berg. “They’re a good team and they know how to play.”

The host Indians trailed throughout in a CIF first-round playoff game. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Neither team scored in the first two innings until sophomore Maya Brady, whose uncle is five-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady, blooped an opposite-field single to left off junior Presley Miraglia.

Miraglia yielded 11 hits including four for extra bases, fanning four and walking one across seven innings.

Junior Kaitlin Simonsgaard was safe on a fielder’s choice as Brady took second base and advanced to third base and eventually scored on a throwing error.

Simonsgaard also eased into second base on the miscue and then crossed the plate on sophomore Taylor Johnson’s grounder.

Oaks Christian’s lead ballooned to 5-0 after a three-run fourth when freshman Felicia Quezeda (two hits) lined a bullet into left center that turned into a homer.

Junior Olivia Lucchese sliced a single to right field and moved to second base on a one-out sacrifice by sophomore Brooke Snyder.

Brady’s single to left center plated Lucchese and after Brady stole second base, Simonsgaard’s triple to left field scored her.

Two innings later, the lead swelled to 7-0 as the Lions (26-5-1 and 11-4 for a second place tie in the Marmonte League) sent six hitters to the plate and scored two runs.

Simonsgaard had a run-scoring triple to right field that scored sophomore Emily Justman, who came in as a pinch runner for Berg, who led off the frame with a double to right center.

Senior Kayla Ketring (two hits then added a run-producing single that brought home Simonsgaard.

Oaks Christian Coach Peter Ackermann wants his team to be aggressive at the plate.

“I tell them to get a pitch you can hit and swing away,” he said. “I don’t give them too many take signs.”

Berg retired the side in order in the first and sixth inning, but allowed a two-out single to right by Miraglia in the fourth inning, but Storer then bounced 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.

Burroughs Softball Shellacks Host Crescenta Valley, 14-0

By Rick Assad

 

Hoping to exact some revenge after an earlier one-run setback in eight innings to Crescenta Valley High, the Burroughs softball team did just that by routing the host Falcons 14-0 in a Pacific League match that was halted after six innings on Thursday afternoon.

Presley Miraglia, shown here at home against Crescenta Valley, tossed a one-hitter in a 14-0 win on the road versus the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“I absolutely expected a tight game,” first-year Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said. “CV’s a team that you can’t count out.”

Why was the outcome different this time than the first meeting in April?

“It was mostly mental,” Tanigawa explained. “The girls had their minds in the right place and when they do, they’re capable of doing this.”

Pitching ace Presley Miraglia allowed one hit and came within two outs of a no-hitter.

“This was probably one of the best games I’ve pitched,” said the junior hurler. “This time we found their weak points and we took advantage of them.”

Miraglia retired the side in order during the first, third and fourth innings and was helped by two nifty defensive efforts from junior second baseman Nikki Ricciardella in the opening frame and the fourth.

Senior shortstop Lauren Lopez also turned in a defensive gem in the sixth inning after Miraglia surrendered a one-out single to center field by senior Jessica Yzaguirre.

Burroughs second baseman Nikki Ricciardella, shown in a recent game, made two sizzling defensive plays behind Miraglia. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The bulk of the scoring came in the fifth and sixth innings as the Indians, who are in a three-way tie for first place in league with the Falcons (16-7-1 and 8-2 in league) and Arcadia, tallied seven and six runs.

Ten entered the batter’s box in the fifth inning and six contributed base hits.

Senior Tatiana Caceres had a run-scoring double to left center, junior Hannah Talavera added a two-run double to right center, while senior Brianna Johnson, the birthday girl, roped a run-scoring double to the gap in left.

Third baseman Brianna Johnson (right), celebrated her birthday with a single, double, was hit by a pitch and added a run batted in. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Sophomore Mia Storer tossed in a run-producing single the opposite way to right,  junior Jessica Amaya had a sacrifice fly and Lopez threw in a single to right field and later scored.

Ricciardella led off and reached base via an error and senior Amanda Flores was also safe on a miscue and both eventually scored.

Junior Emily Mulcahey was tagged with the defeat after surrendering nine hits across five innings, striking out one, walking one and hitting a batter.

Eleven trotted to the plate in the sixth inning for the Indians (15-8 and 8-2 in league) against freshman Maddie De Leon and four were aboard on base hits.

Flores opened with a single to right field, went to second on an error and later scored.

Talavera had a one-out single to left field and also crossed the plate. Storer walked with the bases filled while sophomore pinch hitter Kaitlin Escamilla delivered a run-scoring hit to center field that made it 12-0.

The Indians used a 13-hit attack and tallied 14 runs in a rout of the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

When sophomore pinch hitter Morgan Mersola reached on a fielder’s choice, the Indians’ lead swelled to 13-0.

After Flores chipped in with an infield single, the advantage became 14-0.

Burroughs led 1-0 in the fourth inning when Lopez’s hard-hit ball went off the glove of sophomore third baseman Peyton Hause for a single and then took second base on Mulcahey’s wild pitch.

Johnson’s sharp single to left field moved Lopez to third and a single by Miraglia (two hits) to center field produced the game’s first run.

After the lopsided victory, assistant coach Bill Dunaway was handed a store-bought container of cupcakes intended for Johnson and her teammates.

After all it was time to celebrate both a birthday and a job well done on the field.

Burroughs Softball Loses To Crescenta Valley In Eight Innings, 5-4

By Rick Assad

 

On three occasions, the Burroughs High softball team loaded the bases without scoring and in the eighth inning had the tying run at third base and the winning run at second and also failed to score.

Too many opportunities without locating home plate resulted in a 5-4 setback in eight innings to Crescenta Valley in a Pacific League contest on Tuesday at Olive Park.

Each team entered the fray without a loss in league play, but the Falcons were able to score with timely hitting.

Presley Miraglia took the 5-4 loss against Crescenta Valley after working eight innings. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

“They don’t fully understand that when they’re ahead in the count that they need to make something happen,” Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said. “They need to seize the moment.”

Tanigawa, the first-year skipper, went on: “We don’t have to hit home runs,” he noted. “Just drop the ball in the holes. That’s all we need to do.”

The Falcons (9-5-1 and 3-0 in league) plated the winning run off junior pitcher Presley Miraglia, who allowed a one-out double to left field by senior Jessica Yzaguirre (four hits including a double) and a two-out, run-producing single to sophomore Viviana Bocanegra.

In the bottom half of the final frame, sophomore Mia Storer collected a base hit to right field and advanced to second base on a wild pitch.

Junior Jessica Amaya (two singles) reached on a fielder’s choice as Storer moved to third base, but senior Amanda Flores fouled out to first base to end the threat.

“With our hitting, sometimes we struggle a lot,” Tanigawa said. “I tell them that they’re softball players. They know what to do.”

The Indians (9-7 and 2-1 in league) fell behind 1-0 in the first inning off Miraglia, who went the distance while allowing seven hits with six strikeouts and no walks.

It’s a close play at second base as Miraglia (#25) watches. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

With one out, Yzaguirre singled to left field and scurried to third base on an error when sophomore Peyton Hause laid down a sacrifice bunt and then scored on Bocanegra’s grounder.

Crescenta Valley’s advantage became 4-0 in the third inning when Yzaguirre delivered a two-run single to center field that scored sophomore Ryan Eldred, who led off with a walk and sophomore Alyssa Hernandez, who doubled to left center.

It became 4-0 on Bocanegra’s base hit to right center as Yzaguirre crossed the plate.

Kaitlin Escamilla camps under a fly ball during Tuesday’s 5-4 Pacific League loss to the Falcons. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Indians finally scored off junior hurler Emily Mulcahey in the third inning when junior Nikki Ricciardella tripled to center field to lead off the frame and came around on a grounder from sophomore Kaitlin Escamilla.

Junior Hannah Talavera also singled to left field, took second base on a base hit from senior Lauren Lopez and moved to third when senior Brianna Johnson was hit by a pitch.

However, Miraglia then bounced into a force out and Storer flied out to center field.

Mulcahey also went eight innings, surrendering 10 hits with four strikeouts and three walks along with five hit batters.

Burroughs sent seven batters to the plate in the sixth inning and cut the lead to 4-2 as Lopez’s single to left field drove in Escamilla, who doubled to left field with one out and then stole third base.

A two-run seventh inning pushed the match into extra innings as Talavera’s double to left field scored Ricciardella, who reached on a force out and Escamilla, who was safe on an infield hit.

Miraglia worked a perfect second, fourth, sixth and seventh inning and had a stretch where she retired nine straight batters until Yzaguirre’s double to left in the eighth inning.

“Sometimes I think that she feels the pressure of having to win the game all by herself,” Tanigawa said of his ace hurler. “She doesn’t, but I think that she feels that she does.”