Having lost her bid for a shutout in the seventh inning, all wasn’t lost for Glendale High softball pitcher Aurora Funaro.
The sophomore right-hander still had something to shoot for in the inning — a no-hitter.
Funaro tossed a no-hitter to propel host Glendale to a 5-1 Pacific League victory over rival Hoover on Thursday afternoon.
“I knew about the no-hitter after the third inning,” said Funaro, who struck out 10 en route to her second no-hitter of the season. “In the seventh inning, I wanted to get the shutout and no-hitter. Hoover got the run, but I knew I still had to keep pitching strong to get it. I’m happy because [Glendale catcher] Tiffany Bartamian called a great game behind the plate.
“I threw a lot of first-pitch strikes throughout the game and that allowed me to work the outside corner quite a bit.”
Funaro completed the impressive effort by getting Leslie Franco to ground out to second.
Funaro, who lost her bid for a perfect game on a walk with two outs in the fifth, had a no-hitter in a nonleague contest against Alverno in March.
“She gets that first-pitch strike and she’s now got a lot of options at hand,” first-year Glendale Coach Chris Funaro, Aurora’s father, said. “She can go with different speeds and she gets more confident.
“As the game moves on, she gets stronger. Plus, she trusts her defense. I didn’t say anything to her about not giving up a hit during the game.”
The closest Hoover came to a hit came in the third. With two outs, Mary Sarkisyan hit the ball off Funaro’s foot. The ball ricocheted to shortstop Esme Piedra, who threw to first for the out.
“It hit right off my toe and went to Esme,” Aurora Funaro said. “She made the play and that’s where you trust your defense.”
Funaro struck out the first five batters she faced to set the tone for the Nitros.
Glendale (11-6, 5-3 in league) scored two runs in the first and three in the fifth to topple Hoover (3-9, 1-7). The teams will meet to close out the regular season May 11 at Hoover.
With runners on first and second with one out, Mona Delarea hit a triple to deep center field to score Sammy Fabian and Bartamian in the first inning.
The Nitros, who finished second in league last season, made it 4-0 on a two-run single by Funaro. Their last run came on an error by the shortstop.
Hoover closed out the scoring on an error by the second baseman. Britney Figueroa scored for the Tornadoes.
Hoover Coach Rich Henning said Funaro did a good job at keeping the Tornadoes off-balance.
“She pitched a smart, wonderful game,” Henning said. “She got a lot of first-pitch strikes and we allowed her to dictate out at-bats.
“We didn’t make any adjustments early on after she struck out the first five hitters. Hitting is all about making adjustments and being disciplined. If you can’t do those two things, then your at-bats are going to be pretty short.”
Glendale finished with seven hits, including two from Valeria Hidalgo.