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Burbank Junior All-Star softball blasts into state title game

The Burbank Junior All-Stars softball team might have been a bit rusty in the first two innings of its State Tournament game Thursday evening.

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The Media City squad was back on the diamond following a five-day layoff after opening the tournament on Saturday.

But Burbank made some adjustments, found its offense and earned a 6-0 victory against Apple Valley in the semifinals at Banning Pass Little League in Riverside County.

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The win puts Burbank, the Section 2 champion and District 16 representative, into Saturday’s championship game at 5 p.m. against Apple Valley out of Section 8 or Section 3 representative Azusa.

“We might have been a little rusty from not playing in a few days and we didn’t score any runs in the first two innings,” Burbank coach Rocco Buffalino said. “We hadn’t played in a few days, we went through the holiday and then we’re back at it today playing a game.

“But I thought the girls made an adjustment after the first two innings. They were able to start hitting and that helped us get the win.”

Burbank, which defeated Culver City/West Los Angeles, 11-0, to open the tournament, received a terrific performance from starting pitcher Kym Rudder. Rudder went the distance, allowing four hits with eight strikeouts and no walks.

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After a scoreless first two innings, Burbank broke through with five runs in the third. Ann Buffolino had a two-run home run, Lizzy Zamore drove in two runs with a single and Calista Lee had a single to score a run to stake the Media City team to a 5-0 lead.

“They came out in that third inning swinging the bat very well and we were able to get some runs,” Rocco Buffalino said. “Then we just rolled from there.

“This team has the ability to come on and score a lot of runs in one inning. We have seen that a few times this season.”

Burbank added a run in the sixth on an error.

Burbank ended the game with seven hits.

“For Friday we will hit the batting cages, rest a little and get ready to play Saturday,” Rocco Buffalino said. “We will be ready.”

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