BURBANK — Lopsided losses don’t occur often for the Bellarmine-Jefferson High softball team.
A rare instance took place Friday, when the host Guards met Chaminade in a nonleague contest at Gross Park.
Bell-Jeff, ranked No. 1 in the latest CIF Southern Section Division VI poll after winning the championship last season, committed seven errors and saw usually reliable standout pitcher Mia Acosta walk 10 in a 16-5 defeat.
“We have to learn to stay humble,” said Bell-Jeff catcher Samantha Casarez, who finished with two hits and scored a run. “It gives us some practice on what we need to do better.
“It will make us want to go out there and push harder even more now.”
Bell-Jeff, which captured the Santa Cruz League championship last season, dropped to 4-1-2. Chaminade, ranked No. 3 in the latest Division III poll, improved to 6-3.
Acosta (4-1-2), a reigning All-Area first-team honoree, had difficulty with her control in the circle. Seven of the batters she walked scored.
“With Mia, it’s going to happen,” said Bell-Jeff Coach Florencio Galindo, the reigning All-Area Softball Coach of the Year. “She’s almost always on top of her game, but that’s a real good team that we faced over there.
“When you play teams like Chaminade and Harvard-Westlake, that’s where you learn more about yourself and the things you need to work on collectively. We had been playing well coming into the game, but facing Chaminade was a good test. It’s why you schedule teams like that.”
Chaminade, which shared the Mission League title last season with Alemany and Harvard-Westlake before advancing to the second round of the playoffs, scored 10 runs in the last two innings to seal the victory after Bell-Jeff had closed to within 6-4 in the fifth.
The Eagles got a two-run single in the sixth from Hannah Grimes to make it 10-6 and a three-run inside-the-park home run by Taylor White in the seventh to extend their advantage to 13-5.
Prior to that, the Guards had several quality scoring opportunities.
After Chaminade scored five runs in the third to take a 6-1 lead, Bell-Jeff loaded the bases with no outs in its half of the inning. However, Chaminade starting pitcher Spencer Estrada (6-1) escaped the jam by retiring the next three batters.
“We had such a great chance right there to at least get right back into it,” said Galindo, whose team yielded seven unearned runs. “Bases loaded and no outs, you’ve got to get something in that situation.
“I think we just didn’t perform to our ability today. Things just seemed to snowball after we left the bases loaded and we made some errors that they took advantage of.”
After Chaminade took a 1-0 lead in the first on a sacrifice fly by Rachel Barker, Bell-Jeff knotted it at one on an inside-the-park home run by Sofia Palacios in the second.
Danae Blodgett gave the Eagles a 4-1 lead with a two-run triple to make it 4-1 in the third.
Bell-Jeff scored three runs in the fifth. Priscilla Panizo had a run-scoring single to make it 6-2. A throwing error by the catcher allowed Acosta to score to bring the Guards to within 6-3 before a bunt single by Jessica Pereyra brought home Panizo to trim the deficit to 6-4.