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Bulldogs take advantage

SOFTBALL: Burbank gets fine outing by Peraza and capitalize on Burroughs errors in claiming 4-0 win.

April 05, 2008|By Jeff Tully

OLIVE PARK — Burbank High softball Coach Nicole Drabecki, and her counterpart at Burroughs, Steve Garcia, had only heard about the intensity of the cross- town competition between the schools.

Thursday, the first-year coaches were able to experience the rivalry first hand.

“This is my first one, and I think I’m more nervous than the girls are,” Garcia said before the game.

Garcia likely wasn’t set at ease once the game started, as Bulldogs’ pitcher Kristin Peraza threw a one-hitter and the Indians hurt themselves with errors in a 4-0 Burbank victory at Olive Park.

The win improves the Bulldogs to 11-0 and 4-0 in league.

Drabecki said the atmosphere surrounding the game was incredible.

“This is just an amazing rivalry to be a part of,” she said. “The stands were packed and there was just some much electricity around. I wish we could get crowds like this for all of our games.”


Peraza, a junior, delighted the Burbank faithful with a dominating performance that lifted her record to 11-0. Peraza struck out 15 — including eight of the first nine batters she faced — to increase her season total to 152.

The right-hander surrendered three walks and gave up only one hit — a sixth-inning infield single by Cassie Colon.

“The good thing about Kristin is that she has been so consistent all season,” Drabecki said. “She comes to play every game and she works hard in all of her starts.”

Peraza is trying to help the Bulldogs, who are ranked No. 3 in CIF Southern Section Division III, win a league championship for the first time in 22 years.

Burbank has a crucial league showdown at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday on the road against defending co-league champion Crescenta Valley. The Falcons are ranked No. 2 in the division.

“We know that is going to be a very important game for us,” Drabecki said. “It will be a great opportunity for us against a very good hitting CV team, and a fine coach in Dan Berry. We have to be ready for this game.”

Despite a solid pitching performance from Burroughs starter Kerry Hodgins, who gave up just one hit in six innings, errors proved to be the Indians’ downfall.

Two errors played prominently when Burbank scored two runs in the third inning. After Lexi Hernandaz walked, Liana Hernandez reached base on an error. After Lexi Hernandez was moved to third on a fielder’s choice, she scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Daisy Beltran.

With two outs, Liana was able to score on an error at third base.

Burbank pushed across two more runs in the fifth. Lexi Hernandez walked to start the inning and Kassy Uchida reached base on an error. Both scored in the inning, Hernandez coming home on a run-scoring single up the middle by Kristina Ortiz.

“We had too many errors,” Garcia said. “But that has been the story for us all season. We make errors and the other team is able to score runs on us.”

Garcia, whose team is 3-6, 1-3, said he was impressed with Peraza.

“She’s a very good pitcher,” he said. “But I was proud of the way my girls stayed in there against her. They weren’t afraid and they were in there swinging away.”

Burroughs’ only real offensive threat came in the seventh when Taylor Buliavac walked and moved to second on a walk to Amanda Collard. However, Peraza got Lizzy Peters to ground out, ending the threat — and the game.

Lexi Hernandez had the other hit in the game, as she beat out an infield single in the seventh.

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