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Hernandez, Crescenta Valley softball claim outright Pacific League crown

ARCADIA — Heading into Thursday's night's fateful Pacific League finale on the road against its archrival, Crescenta Valley High needed a win just to assure itself a share of a league crown.

When all was said and done, the Falcons were celebrating a rivalry win and an outright title.

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Deedee Hernandez threw a two-hitter to stymie Arcadia and lead visiting Crescenta Valley to an 8-2 victory.

Hernandez struck out nine Apaches and added an opposite field home run in the sixth inning to help her cause. Devon Medina had two singles to spur the offense on the way to 10 hits for Crescenta Valley (23-2, 12-1).

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"On the mound, I got my energy from my teammates behind me," Deedee Hernandez said. "They were making diving plays and I just thought let's do it. I really settled and saw that big yellow ball on my home run."

Heading into the game, the Falcons were tied with Burroughs atop the standings, but Burbank upset the Indians and cleared the way for CV's outright title.

Crescenta Valley scored five runs in the third inning to open up a 6-0 lead. The key hit was a two-run triple by Steph Wichman.

Arcadia (11-10, 8-6) scored two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Deja Westbrook slugged a ground rule double down the left field line to put the Apaches on the scoreboard.

The Falcons loaded the bases in the second inning and were able to push one run across as Peyton House opened the scoring. Morgan Eng contributed in the second and third inning scoring outbursts by reaching base twice by being hit by a pitch.

In the decisive third inning, the Falcons sent 11 batters to the plate. Third baseman Natalie Bitetti and shortstop Alyssa each had RBI singles in the inning.

Hernandez kept Arcadia in check all night as the third inning was the only inning that the Apaches reached second base. The Apaches rally started with an error.

Hernandez closed out the game in style by striking out the side in the seventh inning and caught Leah Silva looking to end the game and send the Falcons in to a dogpile on the mound to celebrate.

"We went out and were hitting early. Deedee was tremendous as she has been every single game," Crescenta Valley coach Amanda Peek said. "The team had her back so she could be focused and dialed in."

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