GLENDALE — Having bludgeoned its way into the championship game of the District 16 9-10 All-Stars Tournament, the Burbank All-Stars softball team showcased a different skill set Tuesday evening.
The home team rallied from an early three-run deficit in scoring seven of the title game’s final eight runs and posting an 8-5 victory over Crescenta Valley at Scholl Canyon.
With the triumph, Burbank advances to the Section 2 Tournament at Canyon Country Little League on Saturday where the newly christened District 16 champs will face the District 51 champion at noon.
“This is a special group of girls who worked very hard and deserve this,” Burbank skipper Dean Rohan said. “There are things we need to work on. After all, these are 9-, 10-, 11-year-old girls, but I’m so proud of this group.”
Tuesday’s contest was a rematch of a 13-0 victory for Burbank on Saturday.
Yet, the games didn’t resemble each other, as Crescenta Valley took a 4-1 lead after 2 1/2 innings.
Burbank eventually regained its form thanks to a six-run fourth inning in which the home squad took an 8-4 advantage and never looked back.
Burbank sent 12 batters to the dish, with big blows delivered via two-run singles from Sophia Bruno (two for three) and Victoria Sanchez.
Avery Mochrie also delivered a run-scoring single that plated Aidyn Kehrli, while the inning’s final run came via a wild pitch that allowed Bruno to cross home plate.
“Hey, give Crescenta Valley a lot of credit,” Rohan said. “They came to play and we had to come back.”
Burbank’s rally in the bottom of the fourth was also aided by the only three walks issued by Crescenta Valley pitchers along with five wild pitches.
“It was just one bad inning that cost us,” Crescenta Valley Coach Brett Ramaker said. “We know we’re facing a really good team and they got their offense going at the right time.”
On the flip side, the Crescenta Valley offense collected only hit over the last three innings.
Even so, Crescenta Valley had a chance to rally in the fifth when a wild pitch allowed Katie Ward to score with two outs, while also advancing a base runner to third.
Unfortunately for Crescenta Valley, the rally ended without a swing as the runner at third was called out for leaving the base too early on a pitch from hurler Emily Rohan, which ended the inning and Crescenta Valley’s best chance.
Rohan set down Crescenta Valley in order in the sixth to complete the win.
The visitors certainly expected a better outcome, as Crescenta Valley took a 4-1 lead behind a three-run third inning that didn’t require a hit.
Brittany Ramaker, Kaylie Dekruf and Bella Galvin all reached for Crescenta Valley on errors and all scored.
Ramaker was driven in on a groundout from Ward, which gave Crescenta Valley a 2-1 advantage. Dekruf and Galvin reached on infield errors and each advanced a base on a wild pitch before scoring on a two-base throwing error that put the visitors ahead, 4-1.
Burbank came back for a run in the bottom of the third to close within 4-2 thanks to a run-scoring single from Dani Hebri that scored Amaya Takizana.
Previously, Burbank knotted the score at 1 in the bottom of the second thanks in part to two errors and three wild pitches from Crescenta Valley.
Burbank didn’t collect a hit in the frame, but that didn’t matter to Kehrli, who walked with one out, moved to second on a stolen base, to third on a throwing error and scored on a wild pitch.
The home team probably should have scored more when Makaiya Bedford was walked with one out and then reached third on two wild pitches.
Crescenta Valley pitcher Katie Ward shook off her control issues, though, and struck out Burbank’s next batter to escape the jam.
Crescenta Valley started quickly, scoring one run in the first when a lead-off single from Ramaker, who advanced a base on a groundout, was converted into a score on a two-out single from Dekruf.
Follow Andrew J. Campa on Twitter: @campadresports.