Burbank softball stymies archrival Burroughs

Burbank softball stymies archrival Burroughs
Burbank High's Erin Lashkari covers first base as Burroughs High's Kaitlin Escamilla slides in safe during Wednesday's softball game. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Another chapter in the cross-town rivalry was written when Burroughs High softball hosted Burbank.

Using a complete team effort, the visiting Bulldogs led wire-to-wire to claim a 5-2 victory over the Indians in their Pacific League matchup Wednesday night at Olive Park.

"It's a really good win. I think it shows the girls what they are capable of," Burbank Coach Mike Delaney said. "A win is a win. It is sweet against Burroughs, it always is, but in the long run, it is more important that we are believing in ourselves and we're playing the way we need to play."

Burbank (6-11, 5-3 in league) owned the first inning to set the tone. Bulldog Anysia Gonzalez smashed the ninth pitch of the game into the gap in left-center field. The ball kept rolling as the junior rounded the bases for a home run and a lead over Burroughs (13-8, 6-2 in league) that the Bulldogs would not relinquish.

"We are just trying to pull together. We all wanted to get this win. It's a really big win for us," Gonzalez said. "We all just wanted to work as a team and not let anyone get in the way."

In the bottom of the frame, Burbank pitcher Alyssa Porras sat the Indians down in order on just eight pitches. The left-handed sophomore was perfect through three innings and went the distance in the circle, finishing with four strikeouts.

"[Porras] pitched phenomenally," Delaney said. "We've been trying to get her confidence up there and get her endurance up; do the things she needs to do and just believe in herself."

Burbank extended the advantage in the third inning. Sarah Garelick led off with a double that dropped into center field. Two batters later, she came home by way of Amaya Broyls' double that hooked around the third-base bag.

The Indians notched their first hits in the fourth inning with two hits to start the inning by Hannah Talavera and Lauren Lopez, who had a double and single, respectively. Presley Miraglia then helped herself and got Burroughs on the board with a one-out double that dropped into shallow center field. The lead remained 2-1 until the sixth inning.

In the sixth, the Bulldogs loaded the bases against Miraglia with one out. A fielder's choice kept the base full for Melissa Daniel, who came through with a bases-clearing double that sailed deep into left field. Daniel then tried to stretch her hit into a triple, but was gunned out at third to end the frame with a 5-1 cushion.

"When I saw the pitch coming in, I knew I could hit it," Daniel said. "Just that feeling of knowing you got that hit, it felt amazing."

Burroughs kept at it, getting one back in the bottom of the sixth on a ground out by Mia Storer to score Brianna Johnson from third, who reached on a walk with one out. The Indians mounted a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh. Down to their last out, Indians Kaitlin Escamilla and Talavera stroked singles to bring the tying run to the plate, but Porras induced a fly ball out to center field to seal the Burbank victory.

"This is a great win," Daniel said. "This team has so much heart like I've never seen. We came out today and played like a team. This is the game we have been waiting for. We just came out and we just killed it today."

Miraglia, the reigning All-Area Softball Player of the Year, took the loss while recording five strikeouts.

"Presley is my workhorse," Burroughs Coach Wes Tanigawa said. "She pitches really hard and has a lot on her shoulders right now, because, obviously, our bats are not working."

It was the second game in as many days for both squads. On Tuesday, the Bulldogs suffered a loss at Glendale. Burroughs notched a five-inning win at Pasadena, but Burbank ended the Indians' four-game win streak.

With the defeat, Burroughs, the two-time defending Pacific League title holder, slipped two games behind Crescenta Valley in the win column, with the undefeated-in-league Falcons set to play Arcadia on Thursday.

"I'm hoping the girls are going to see this and they're not going to like it, they are going to go home and be upset," Tanigawa said. "That is how they should feel."