BURBANK — For the past three years, Burbank High softball Coach Nicole Drabecki thought her team had enough talent to win a Pacific League championship.
However, in each of the last three seasons, those title hopes were crushed by cross-town rival Burroughs, which has captured three consecutive league crowns.
After Thursday's clash against the Indians, Drabecki and the Bulldogs might just be headed for the elusive championship.
Behind a 14-strikeout performance by sophomore pitcher Caitlyn Brooks, Burbank was able to notch a 3-0 win at McCambridge Park in the first of two meetings this season between the rivals.
The win for Burbank (14-1, 7-0 in league) — ranked No. 1 in CIF Southern Section Division III — gives it the inside track to the league title. Burbank hasn't captured a championship since 1987, when it was a member of the Foothill League.
"The last time I beat Burroughs was in 2008, and we beat them twice that season," said Drabecki, who is in her seventh season. "I had no idea that it was going to take five years to finally beat them again in what I think is nine attempts. We definitely had some heartbreakers and lost some one-run games during those years.