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Brooks, Burbank High softball shut out Crescenta Valley

Softball: Bulldogs' stiffest league test yet is still an impressive win over Falcons, 3-0.

April 10, 2014|By Grant Gordon, grant.gordon@latimes.com
  • Burbank High's Julia Duarte catches the ball in a pickoff attempt against Crescenta Valley's Rachael Abboud, who dives safely back to first base in a Pacific League softball game at McCambridge Park in Burbank on Thursday. Burbank won the game 3-0. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Burbank High's Julia Duarte catches the ball in…

BURBANK — Thus far in the Pacific League season, the Burbank High softball team, seen as the favorite by most to repeat as league champion, has run roughshod over some overmatched competition.

PHOTOS: Burbank vs. Crescenta Valley girls' league softball

On Thursday afternoon, the Bulldogs faced their most arduous opposition yet, but behind a stellar effort in the circle from junior pitcher Caitlyn Brooks and some early offense, Burbank still looked impressive in a 3-0 win over Crescenta Valley at McCambridge Park.

“We’ve taken care of business,” said first-year Burbank Coach Mike Delaney, whose squad improved to 11-3 and 4-0 in league with its ninth win in a row. “I don’t think any coach is ever satisfied … but I think they’re doing everything we’ve asked them to do: go out, take care of business and be ready to play.

“They’ve handled it like an experienced, talented team.”

Brooks, the reigning All-Area Softball Player of the Year, was the catalyst, twirling the shutout with 10 strikeouts, one walk and four hits – albeit, none of them were clean.

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She also ignited the offense, doubling home Sabrina Steward in the first inning for the first run of the game before senior Kaitlin Brooks (three for three) singled in Amber Ingram (Caitlin’s courtesy runner) for a 2-0 advantage to set the tone and provide more than enough for a winning margin.

“I feel like their lineup is strong,” said Caitlin of Crescenta Valley, “but I trusted my pitches today and I got stronger as the game went on. I felt confident in the circle and when you feel confident, you can put the ball where you want it to go.”

Ranked fifth in CIF Southern Section Division III, the Bulldogs, who won their 18th straight Pacific League game, kept pace atop the standings with archrival and fellow league-unbeaten Burroughs (4-0 in league), No. 8 in the division.

Still, against Crescenta Valley (7-6, 2-2), the Bulldogs left plenty of opportunities on the bases, stranding nine runners, much to the dismay of Delaney.

“I wasn’t pleased with our hitting today. We left a lot of chances out there,” Delaney said. “It’s not what we’ve been practicing or doing this year.”

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