It was once a standard that the Crescenta Valley High softball team ruled over the Pacific League. Likewise, postseason success was often a program staple.
League titles and playoff wins have been hard to come by during the current decade, however.
But that’s all changing this season.
For the first time since 2011, the Falcons won a share of the Pacific League title.
And on Thursday afternoon, Crescenta Valley realized some playoff success that was also a longtime coming.
The Falcons hosted Paso Robles and won in short order, flexing their muscles to the tune of two home runs in a 10-0 five-inning victory in a CIF Southern Section Division III first-round contest.
“It is nice that our bats are on right now," said Crescenta Valley Coach Amanda Peek, who earned her first postseason coaching victory.
For Crescenta Valley (21-7-1), it was the first postseason win since 2014 and broke a three-game winless streak in playoff action. The win vaulted the Falcons into the second round for the first time since 2009, where they will travel to face Los Altos, which defeated Glendale in the first round.
The Falcons have now won 13 of their last 16 games.
"This is huge for CV," Falcon Jessica Yzaguirre said. "Winning league and then continuing on at a home game is really fun. Coming out here all fired up as a team is huge and getting the win is even better."
Freshman Maddie De Leon had three runs batted in, including a two-run first-inning home run.
Falcons pitcher Emily Mulcahey went the distance in the circle, allowing four hits. At the plate, Mulcahey came up with the bases full in the bottom of the fourth with two outs and promptly hammered a grand slam over the center field fence before touching the plate for what turned out to be the hosts' game-clinching run, after she sat the Bearcats down in order in the top of the fifth to seal the victory.
"I just put the bat on the ball. I wasn't thinking," Mulcahey said of her home run.
The hosts jumped on visiting Paso Robles (13-12) for four runs in the first inning and never looked back. The first four CV batters to come to the plate recorded hits. Falcon Peyton Hause, the No. 3 batter, drove in the first two runs with a single to right field.
That brought up De Leon, who pounded the first offering from Bearcats pitcher Alyssa Valle over the fence in left-center field for a two-run homer and a four-run lead. De Leon added a run-scoring single in the second inning that hit the base of the fence.
"I just put the ball in play," De Leon said.
Mulcahey escaped a bases-loaded-no-out jam in the bottom of the first. The CV defense, which finished without an error, got her out of the situation with three high-degree-of-difficulty plays on a hot liner, a fielder's choice at the plate and a dive to snag another liner to end the frame.
"I was looking around and saw all my teammates had my back," Mulcahey said. "I definitely need to have theirs and they helped me get out of that inning."
Yzaguire was a thorn in the side of the Bearcats, the third-place team from the PAC-8 League. The visitors never got the speedy senior out as she legged out three infield singles.
"It is such a great way to start off [the playoffs] and it feels so good to begin like this," Mulcahey said. "It is a good feeling."