GLENDALE — Burbank High softball Coach Mike Delaney and Glendale Coach Greg Martin walked into distinctly different situations when they took over their respective programs this season.
For Delaney, a longtime coach at Village Christian, he took over a squad fresh off winning a Pacific League championship and chalk full of experienced players, including a standout junior pitcher in All-CIF Southern Section and All-Area Player of the Year Caitlyn Brooks.
Conversely, Martin inherited a team that didn’t make the playoffs in 2013 after placing fifth and half the players on the roster were underclassmen.
It was the Bulldogs’ experience, coupled with some mistakes from the young Nitros that played large parts in Burbank notching a 13-1 Pacific League victory Thursday at Glendale. The game was called after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Burbank (15-3, 6-0 in league) came into Thursday’s game focused and tried not to be too overconfident, even though it’s ranked No. 4 in CIF Southern Section Division III while riding a 13-game winning streak and outscoring league opponents, 70-2.
The Bulldogs were determined not to look past any league opponent after hearing that Burroughs — the No. 8 team in the division — lost to Arcadia on Tuesday. Glendale (11-4, 3-3) defeated the Apaches, 7-5, on April 10.
“I think that Burroughs loss to Arcadia was a wake-up call for our players,” said Delaney, whose team last lost March 14 in the High Desert Classic to West Ranch, 5-2. “It just proved that at any given time that anybody can beat anybody. We really tried to bring that point home [Wednesday] in practice that you just can’t show up in this league and expect to win.
“I think they really responded to that and that was kind of a motivator for us [Thursday].”
Although Burbank was obviously the dominant team Thursday, the Nitros didn’t do themselves any favors, as errors and miscues in the outfield helped lead to a majority of the Bulldogs’ runs.
“We minimized our errors against Arcadia and we were able to come away with a positive result,” said Martin, whose team committed five errors and two other balls hit in the outfield were misjudged leading to extra bases for Burbank. “We just can’t give a team like this extra opportunities and extra outs. They already hit the ball well, and it would have been a much closer game if we were able to cut down some of those errors.”
Doing the brunt of the damage on offense for the Bulldogs was junior third baseman Lily Winn. Winn was four for four with nine total bases, two triples, a double, three runs scored and six runs batted in.
“I just felt really confident at the plate today,” said Winn, whose bases-clearing triple in the first inning that scored Bridgette Pisa (single), Iasbele Frias (hit by pitch) and Brooks (walk) gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead and all the runs they would need. “She was pitching right there where I like it and it was spot on. She was just pitting it right in the middle of the plate.”
The Bulldogs also received a fine performance in the circle by Brooks, who ran her record to 14-3. The right-hander tossed a five-hitter, striking out 10 and not walking a batter.
After taking a three-run lead in the first, the Bulldogs tacked on three additional run in the second. Brooks led off the inning with a triple by the left fielder. She was replaced by pinch-runner Hanna Moulton. Moulton scored one batter later when Winn singled to right field and she eventually scored on an error. Juila Duarte also singled and scored to give Burbank a 6-0 advantage.
The Bulldogs sent 11 batters to the plate and pushed across six runs to take a commanding 12-run lead in the fourth inning. The rally was punctuated by a two-run triple by Jasmin Orozco and a two-run triple by Winn.
Glendale was finally able to get on the board when it broke the shutout with a single run in the fourth inning. With one out, Alex Howard singled. Two batters later, Jordan Lousararian also singled and Howard was able to score on a base hit through the left side by Grace Sinisterra.
“We had three hits in that inning and that was very encouraging for us,” Martin said. “I am proud of the way the girls battled at the end of that game. They just never game up.”
Burbank scored its final run in the fifth when Winn doubled and scored on a double by Julia Duarte (two for four with two run scored).
Sammy Fabian was two for three for the Nitros.
Follow Jeff Tully on Twitter: @jefftsports.