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Early offense leads Burbank softball past rival Burroughs

Softball: Bulldogs push across all of their runs in first three innings to notch 5-1 Pacific League win against Indians.

April 24, 2014|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com
(Roger Wilson Staff…)

BURBANK — Early in its game Thursday against Burroughs High, it looked as if the Burbank softball team, behind ace pitcher Caitlyn Brooks, would pour it on against the Indians.

PHOTOS: Burbank vs. Burroughs girls' softball

That scenario appeared evident after the Bulldogs scored five runs in the first three innings of their Pacific League contest against their cross-town rivals.

However, Burroughs pitcher Cheyenne Steward buckled down after some early problems, allowing no hits and just a single baserunner through the final four frames.

Unfortunately for the Indians, they just couldn't give their starting pitcher much run support, as the Bulldogs rode their early advantage to a 5-1 victory in front of an overflow crowd at Olive Park.

Thursday's clash was a battle of the Pacific's League's top teams. The win for the defending-champion Bulldogs (17-3, 8-0 in league) — ranked No. 4 in CIF Southern Section Division III — keeps them alone in first place. The Indians, ranked No. 8 in the division, fall to 14-5-1, 6-2.

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"Our players came into the game loose, but they were focused," said first-year Burbank Coach Mike Delaney, whose squad has won 15 straight games. "This is the best prep we have had in probably three or four games. …They were just totally on it in warmups and they were ready to play.

"Nothing really fazes this team. I try and challenge them with new stuff in practice all the time, but they just go through it. Really, they are ready for anything."

Although the Indians outhit the Bulldogs, 8-6, it was Burbank that was able to string its hits together to score the runs.

"We made some mistakes and those were effort mistakes," Burroughs Coach Doug Nicol said. "I can live with mistakes like those. I feel that we made some mistakes, but if we can correct those mistakes next time against them it is going to be a lot closer.

"We got 10 runners on base and I thought that they did a good job against Caitlyn [Brooks]. We were just not able to string our hits together to get the runs that we needed."

Brooks went the distance to run her record to 16-3, striking out nine without a walk.

Steward also went seven innings, striking out three and walking one. After giving up two runs in the first inning and three in the third, she retired 14 of the final 15 batters she faced.

Along with her effort in the circle, Brooks also came through at the plate, going two for four with a home run, a run scored and two runs batted in.

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