Burbank High softball wins extra-inning thriller against Burroughs

BURBANK — Lily Winn was the right person at the most opportune time.

The junior third baseman for the Burbank High softball team came to the plate in the ninth inning of what was a thrilling Pacific League extra-inning game Wednesday against rival Burroughs. Winn, who has yet to strike out this season, looked to make contact with a Bulldogs' runner on second base.

PHOTOS: Burbank defeats rival Burroughs in extra-inning girls' softball game

Winn took a 1-1 pitch, drove it threw the middle and knocked in the winning run that allowed Burbank to notch a 5-4 comeback victory in front of a packed crowd at McCambridge Park.

The comeback was a big one for Burbank, which trailed Burroughs, 3-0, in the top of the fourth inning and 4-1 in the top of the fifth.

"I was a little bit nervous when I went up to the plate, but I knew what I needed to do," said Winn, who was two for five with two runs batted in. "I had a feeling that I was going to pull through and make something happen.

"I was just concentrating on the pitcher and everything just kind of came together at that moment."

The winning run was facilitated in the bottom of the ninth inning when hitter Bridgette Pisa led off with a single to left field. After a strikeout, Caitlyn Brooks walked to put runners at first and second with one out. Winn then came to the plate against Burroughs starting pitcher Cheyenne Steward. Winn powered a pitch that bounced into center field, and when the fielder briefly bobbled the ball, Pisa was able to beat the throw to the plate for the winning run.

"Lily is one of the best hitters in the league and she has come through for us countless times this season," Burbank first-year Coach Mike Delaney said. "She is just a solid contact hitter and she always seems to put the ball in play and that's what she did in the ninth inning."

There were no league implications riding on Thursday's game, as Burbank (23-3, 14-0 in league) had already secured its second straight league championship and Burroughs (19-6-1, 11-3) had nailed down second place.

However, in the bigger picture, the win was inherently more important to the Bulldogs. The victory was the 21st straight for Burbank. More importantly, the team will likely retain its No. 1 placement in CIF Southern Section Division II with the playoff pairings set to be released Saturday.

The win was also the 28th straight in league for the Bulldogs, who have gone undefeated over the course of the last two seasons in the Pacific League, last losing to Burroughs, 2-1, on May 10, 2012.

"It was just a goal to go undefeated in league for a second year in a row," Winn said. "That is something that we really wanted to do."

That almost didn't happen, as the Indians knocked around Brooks in the circle early in the game. Brooks did end up with 14 strikeouts.

Burroughs got on the board in the first inning when Sidney Ortega (four for five with a triple, double and two runs scored) tripled and scored on bloop single in the infield by Seward. The Indians tacked on two more runs in the third to take a 3-0 advantage.

Burbank responded with a run in the fourth when Julia Duarte doubled to score Winn, who had reached base on a fielder's choice.

An error allowed the Indians to push across another run in the fourth to increase their lead to 4-1.

However, Steward, who allowed just one run on one hit through four innings, hit a snag in the fifth. Burbank tied the score at 4 with three runs in the frame. Brooks walked with the bases loaded for the first run and Winn drove a single to left to account for the other two.

Burroughs had its share of chances to score plenty of times in regulation and in extra innings. The Indians stranded runners in all but one inning, leaving 10 in all.

"Both teams are quality teams and it was a great game," Burroughs Coach Doug Nicol said. "But how can I not be proud of my team with an effort like that?

"I just thought that we gave them too many runs in that fifth inning and things kind of fell apart for us in that inning. We kind of got away from what was our focus the whole game and that led to some runs by them."

The Indians got runners on first and second with no outs in the ninth inning. However, Brooks struck out the side to get out of the inning.

Steward was two for five with three RBI for Burroughs.


Follow Jeff Tully on Twitter: @jefftsports.

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