Tag Archives: Victoria Sanchez

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.

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.