It was a variety of things, some big — a pair of two-run home runs — and some little, like a run-saving defensive play by Crescenta Valley late in the game, followed by one fateful Indians pitch that was never intended to be anywhere near the strike zone, that swung the game in favor of the Falcons, and the league title back into play.
"Today was a big win and everybody did their part to contribute to it," Falcons pitcher Erin Ashby said.
Ashby allowed one earned run on eight hits in seven innings to claim the win. She also drove in three of the Falcons' runs.
Freshman left fielder Hannah Cookson had her fingerprints all over the win, as well, adding two insurance runs with a sixth-inning home run and turning in a key defensive play in the top of the sixth to keep the score tied.
After each team had traded two-run outbursts in the bottom of the third and top of the fourth innings, the game again became a battle of pitching and defense right up until the Falcons' half of the sixth. Kelly Bako got things started for Crescenta Valley (17-3, 9-1 in league) with a one-out double to deep center field. Ashby, who had singled and homered in her first two plate appearances before drawing an intentional walk in the fourth inning, cam up next and the Indians had no intention of letting her swing the bat.
But Burroughs starter Heather Haynes, who until the sixth inning had allowed just two earned runs on eight hits while pitching out of danger several times, let a would-be intentional ball drift too far back in over the plate where it was slapped by Ashby into right field to plate the go-ahead run.