After rallying for an improbable comeback that culminated in its first CIF playoff win this century, the Glendale High softball team looked to ride its jubilation and momentum into its next test Thursday.
Glendale faced host Los Altos in a CIF Southern Section Division IV first-round contest looking for another first this century as it aspired to advance to the second round.
While Glendale stayed within earshot of Los Altos, it wasn't able to mount another comeback and suffered a 6-3 defeat.
Glendale (15-10), which took fourth in the Pacific League, opened the postseason Tuesday with a thrilling 13-12 win against Carter. The Nitros scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth to win.
On Thursday against Los Altos (23-6), the Hacienda League titlist, Glendale was held in check and the stellar four-year careers of standouts Sammy Fabian and Tiffany Bartamian drew to a close.
"I thought we played well, but we made a couple of errors in the third inning that hurt us," Glendale first-year coach Chris Funaro said. "We really came in with nothing to lose against a very good team in Los Altos. We did everything we could to stay with Los Altos, but we just came up a bit short."
After Los Altos built a 3-0 lead, Glendale pulled to within 3-2 in the fourth on a two-run double down the left-field line by Bartamian to score the UC Santa Barbara-bound Fabian and Esme Piedra. Bartamian had the game-winning two-run double with the bases loaded to topple Carter with Fabian scoring the game-winning run.
Los Altos scored three runs in the fifth to take a 6-2 lead. Glendale wrapped up the scoring in the sixth on a sacrifice fly to center by Andrea Chacon to score Fabian.
Glendale pitcher Aurora Funaro went five innings, allowing three runs (three earned). The sophomore right-hander struck out four.
"The goal was to get to CIF and win a playoff game and we were able to accomplish that," Chris Funaro said. "We came in against Los Altos playing loose and there wasn't any pressure on us."
Glendale finished with four hits. Fabian and Bartamian had two hits each.
"It was a real treat to be able to watch and then coach Sammy and Tiffany," Funaro said. "They started for four years and were amazing players and they did everything they could to help make their teammates better players.
"Sammy is an All-American and Tiffany was a top catcher."