GLENDALE — Shortly after the Glendale High softball team wrapped up its regular season with a 10-0 victory against cross-town rival Hoover on Thursday, several members of the Nitros began to wonder if a winning record in league might be enough to earn playoff consideration.
The top four teams in league automatically qualify for the playoffs. While Glendale finished tied for fourth in league with Crescenta Valley, it didn’t have any tiebreakers in its favor. The first tiebreaker in league is head-to-head and Glendale split its two games with Crescenta Valley. The second tiebreaker is run differential and Crescenta Valley had an eight-run advantage.
The CIF Southern Section office will unveil its playoff pairings for all seven divisions Saturday.
“We don’t have any of those tiebreakers going our way, but we will still at least apply for an at-large berth,” said Glendale first-year Coach Greg Martin, whose team improved to 16-7, 8-5 in league. “We are peaking at the right time and I think we could make some noise if we get into the playoffs. We’ll know either way by Saturday.”
Glendale, which last appeared in the postseason in 2005, got a no-hitter from Jordan Lousararian in turning back Hoover (9-15, 2-12) for the second time in five innings. Glendale posted a 14-1 road win against host Hoover on April 25.
Lousararian, a sophomore right-hander, struck out four.
“She’s been great for us the whole year,” Martin said. “She’s been there when we’ve needed her to be.”
The Nitros scored seven runs in the first inning to take a 7-0 lead. Lousararian had a two-run single to make it 2-0. Claire Smith followed with a bases-loaded double to left to make it 5-0.
Smith, a first baseman, said she wanted to provide the Nitros with some insurance.
“It’s all muscle memory,” Smith said. “You go up there doing everything you’ve been taught.
“When I hit it, I wasn’t sure if it would be fair or foul. I was glad to get the hit and we had a bigger lead. I think we have a shot at making the playoffs. We had a winning record, so I think we deserve it.”
Glendale closed out the scoring with three runs in the fourth. Alex Howard had a run-scoring triple to make it 8-0. Howard and Tiffany Bartamian then scored on wild pitches.
“We knew coming in that we had to stay focused,” said Martin, who received two hits apiece from Rachel Bartamian, Howard and Smith. “They knew they had a job to do if they wanted any chance at extending their season.”
The Tornadoes wrapped up what Hoover Coach Rich Henning called a difficult season.
“We gave up those seven runs in the first inning,” Henning said. “That’s a game changer and a game killer because it’s hard to keep focused when you give up seven runs early.
“It’s very disappointing. We knew coming in that it would be a rebuilding year. It won’t be like that next year because now we have a team that will have a full year of varsity experience behind them.”
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich.