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Early woes sink Burroughs

Softball: Burroughs can't overcome deficit in 7-4 second-round CIF loss to South Torrance on the road.

May 22, 2012|BY JEFF TULLY

TORRANCE — It was a disastrous showing in the early going by the Burroughs High softball team in its CIF Southern Section Division III game Tuesday against South Torrance that proved to be its undoing.

Throughout the season, the Indians relied on solid defense, strong pitching and powerful hitting to notch the most wins in program history. However, in the first three innings against the host Spartans, the Indians had their problems in all three areas.

Struggling from the get-go, Burroughs found itself behind by seven runs early. Although the Indians were able to battle back in the late innings to make a game of it, the early deficit proved too difficult to erase, as No. 2 seeded Burroughs went down to a 7-4 defeat.

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The win for the Spartans (21-10) — the fourth-place team from the Pioneer League — avenges a 2-0, 7-6, doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Indians in nonleague action March 15. South Torrance featured four players who have signed to play in college next year, namely senior leadoff hitter Alex Kossoff, who is headed to Florida State.

The loss ends a productive season that saw the Indians finish with a 24-4 record and notch the Pacific League championship, their third straight.

Burroughs Coach Doug Nicol said he was hard-pressed to come up with the reason why his team did not play its best during the first three innings.

"Our challenge is to try and figure out what went wrong and why we got off to such a bad start," said Nicol, whose team opened the playoffs Thursday with a 3-0 victory against Knight. "Whether it be the end of the school year or finals this week, we're going to have to figure out why it happened so it won't happen again.

"But they just looked tired and they didn't look like they were ready to go in the beginning. For whatever reason, they just didn't have it in the beginning and were doing things that are just uncharacteristic of how we usually play."

It was unfortunate for Burroughs that it had to battle the Spartans with a starting pitcher that wasn't at 100%. Nicol said that senior Haley Schulman was suffering from flu-like symptoms the day before and wasn't at her best. Schulman (17-4) got into trouble over the course of the first three innings, a span in which South Torrance scored all seven of its runs.

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