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Brooks, Bulldogs bite down

Softball: Burbank holds La Reina scoreless in 1-0 CIF first-round win.

May 17, 2012|BY JEFF TULLY

THOUSAND OAKS — The Burbank High softball team isn't very representative of a typical No. 3 league squad in the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

The Bulldogs were in the hunt for the Pacific League championship until the final regular-season game and although they tied Crescenta Valley for second place, they went into the playoffs as the third seed.

La Reina, which captured the Tri-Valley League title after defeating powerhouse Oaks Christian, found out once again how formidable Burbank can be in a Division III game Thursday.

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Behind a stellar three-hit pitching performance from freshman Caitlyn Brooks, the Bulldogs received all the offense they would need with a solo home run from Katie Hooper to defeat the host Regents, 1-0, in a first-round game.

"We thought we had a team that could contend in the playoffs," Burbank Coach Nicole Drabecki said. "This is a team that has a lot of heart."

It was the second win this season for Burbank against La Reina, as the Bulldogs earned an 8-0 victory earlier in the season in the Thousand Oaks Tournament.

The Bulldogs (22-6) move on to the second round of the playoffs for first time in four years. They downed Culver City, 9-0, in their postseason opener in 2008 and fell to Rancho Alamitos, 3-2, in the second round.

Burbank will compete in the second round Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. against either Downey or Heritage at a site to be determined.

Brooks came through with a steady performance and received rock-solid backup from a defense that didn't commit an error and was able to turn two double plays. Brooks allowed single hits in the third, fifth and sixth innings, struck out six and walked two.

Despite playing in her first playoff game, Brooks said she wasn't nervous.

"I felt confident going in, especially because we beat them last time and I knew we could do it again," Brooks said. "My change-up was working and I just tried to bring everything back in and tried to make them see the kinds of pitches I wanted them to see."

Brooks' counterpart in the circle, senior Christine Costello, also threw a fine game. She surrendered just three hits, as well, striking out three and walking three.

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