ARCADIA — Crescenta Valley High’s softball season came to a crescendo in the regular season and Pacific League finale with a road game at Arcadia. With third place in the Pacific League and the league’s final guaranteed playoff spot on the line for both squads, the Falcons made the trip tasked with taking down the rival Apaches and assuring themselves of another game.
When it came down to it on Thursday night, Crescenta Valley, despite outhitting Arcadia, could not quite overcome an early deficit and lost, 3-2, to the host Apaches, who claim third place in the Pacific.
“Getting behind 2-0 in the first inning really took the wind out of our sail and we had to struggle to come back,” Crescenta Valley Coach John Pehar said.
The Falcons, who fell behind, 3-0, after two innings, found themselves down, 3-1, with one out in the seventh. CV’s Hannah Cookson then hit a weak foul pop-up that two Apaches watched drop between them. The senior jumped on the second chance, tagging the next pitch into the right-center field gap for a double. The two-bagger was the 11th hit of the night for Crescenta Valley (15-12, 8-6), but the first that went for extra bases. Two batters later, Falcons catcher Rachael Abboud smacked a double to left-center to drive home Cookson from third. Abboud’s double would turn out to be the 12th and final hit of the game, as the Falcons’ next batter, representing the winning run, popped out to center field.
Abboud drove in both of the Falcons’ runs in the game. The freshman also drove in her squad’s first run of the night with a bases-loaded single in the top of the fifth. In that inning, CV recorded the same number and type of hits, four singles, that Arcadia (11-11, 9-5) would get in the entire game. Hailey Cookson, who hit the first of the four singles in the frame, scored the run.
“When you can’t score runs on 12 hits, it’s like there is something wrong,” Pehar said.
CV hurler Olivia Thayer went the distance in the circle, allowing just the four hits and striking out two. However, the senior spotted Arcadia two runs in the first inning, as her first pitches lacked the fine-tuning she displayed the rest of the way. Thayer hit Apache Stephanie Noriega with the first pitch of the contest and then walked the next Arcadia batter on seven pitches.
“Sometimes I have to get into this rhythm and that first inning was a little shaky,” Thayer said. “But once we started getting hits and the defense made some plays, that’s when I kind of settled in. I got this momentum and it really helps. It kind of started in the second inning; the first was a little rough, though.”
Both base runners would come around to score on a two-out single by opposing pitcher Monica Baerg, who had two of her team’s four hits. The Apaches added another run in the second, when they got two singles, on a groundout by Noriega. Thayer then held Arcadia hitless for the next three innings.
With Thursday’s result, Arcadia finishes third in league and Crescenta Valley has to settle for a tie for fourth place with Glendale, though the Falcons own a run-differential tiebreaker.