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Indians win in extra innings

Softball: In league showdown filled with lead changes down the stretch, Burroughs gets last laugh on Burbank.

April 09, 2011|By Emin Avakian, Special to the Leader

MCCAMBRIDGE PARK — When the Burbank High softball team's offense came up short in driving home the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning, it simply meant extra innings in an already thrilling game with rival Burroughs in a Pacific League showdown Thursday night.

Looking deeper, however, it meant giving Burroughs' Shannon Trujillo one more opportunity to do what the slugger has been doing all season thus far for the first-place Indians — leading her team to victory.

And the result — a clutch two-run home run with the game tied that would give the Indians their biggest lead of a game at the most crucial time — didn't come as a surprise to Burroughs Coach Doug Nicol.

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"Before her at-bat, I told her there was no one I'd rather have up there," said Nicol after an 8-4 win over host Burbank in front of a capacity crowd at McCambridge Park. "She has been clutch all season, and I knew she would come through again."

The four-run eighth capped off a comeback for Burroughs (9-5, 5-0 in league), which was previously no-hit through four innings by Burbank starting pitcher Crystal Diaz (3-5).

The sophomore hurler's counterpart, Heather Haynes, kept the Indians in the game while giving up two runs on two hits through four. Burbank started out well, taking a 1-0 lead on a first-inning double steal before Ashley Russo's run-scoring second-inning single made it 2-0.

Diaz pitched seven solid innings for the Bulldogs, striking out four, but ultimately couldn't record an out in the eighth and was pulled after giving up a double to Taylor Buliavac right after Trujillo's blast that scored the go-ahead run for the Indians, sending Diaz to the dugout as the losing pitcher.

"I told the team that we have to come together right now," said Trujillo of the approach going into the fifth inning, where Haley Shulman doubled for the team's first hit of the game. "We had let Crystal control the game for so long."

Shulman and Buliavac scored Burroughs' first runs of the contest on another double — this one from Hailee White, who then scored herself on Allie Grimaldo's sacrifice bunt to give the Indians a precarious 3-2 lead.

"They're a veteran group of girls, so they hit the ball at the right times, and get all the key hits," said Burbank Coach Nicole Drabecki, whose team fell to 4-8, 3-2.

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