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Area squad off to World Series

Softball: Burbank Heartbreakers win tourney and earn spot in next month's event.

June 29, 2012|BY JEFF TULLY

They have been playing together since they first learned to hit a softball or field a ground ball. Maybe that's why the So Cal Burbank Heartbreakers have been so successful as a team.

The 10-and-under girls' squad came through with a big effort in a tournament earlier this month, which enabled the Heartbreakers to earn a spot in the Triple Crown World Series of Softball on July 15-22 in Park City, Utah. The tournament will feature 24 teams mostly from California, Nevada and Utah.

The squad — made up entirely of Burbank residents — qualified for the World Series by winning the Triple Crown Stars and Strikes Tournament in Beaumont on June 10. The Heartbreakers shook off a loss during pool play, defeated the same opponent it had previously fell to and captured the tournament championship.

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"The turning point for us was when we suffered that loss and we came back the next day and beat that same team," said Heartbreakers head Coach Richard Escamilla. "To be able to do that was big. I think that gave the girls' confidence that they could win the tournament and they could come back after a loss."

The Burbank squad had to fight to win the championship game against Team AB from Riverside.

The Heartbreakers jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning after Carley Gay walked and was driven home on a double by Alyssa Porras. However, Team AB came back to take a 2-1 advantage in the top of the first after a two-run home run.

Burbank evened the score in the second when Alyssa Ledesma delivered a single up the middle and scored on a single to left field by Gay.

Team AB tacked on a single run in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead.

That's how the score remained until the fifth inning. The Heartbreakers were able to regain the lead, 4-3. Gay came through again, singling to center to score Mia Storer, who reached on an error. Jasmine Chavez then singled to score Storer.

Storer put Burbank up, 5-3, with a hit that drove in Hannah Skinner in the top of the sixth. However, Team AB came back with a run in the bottom of the inning to make it a 5-4.

Burbank was then able to stave off a Team AB threat in the bottom of the sixth, taking away potential hits with two fine defensive plays in the infield by Gay and Kaitlin Escamilla.

"Those were very big plays, and those catches really saved the game for us," Escamilla said. "That defense in that last inning was incredible."

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