GLENDALE — Hoping to force a winner-take-all Section 2 Softball championship game Saturday, the Glendale Junior All-Stars produced a better effort but suffered a similar fate versus host Granada Hills on Friday.
The District 40 champ smashed its way into the Division III tournament with a 14-4 victory in five innings at Scholl Canyon Ballfields over the Glendale-based combo squad of Vaquero, Foothill and Crescenta Valley.
“This was a green team that really gained some valuable experience,” Glendale Coach Will Thayer said. “They put in five weeks of work and had four-hour practices on the weekend. They just ran into a very good team.”
Granada Hills led, 13-4, entering the bottom of the fifth when third baseman Rebecca Gurrola singled to lead off. The next batter, Natalie McCarty, then singled deep to center, which allowed Gurrola to score when the ball was cut off in the infield.
Prior to that, Granada Hills scored four runs in the first inning and two runs in the fourth.
The back-breaking half inning came in the bottom of the third, when the home team answered a three-run rally from Glendale, which brought the score to 4-3, with a seven-run explosion in going up, 11-3.
In the top of the third, singles from Camie Ellingford (two for two with two runs and a stolen base) and Allison Alzate were cashed thanks partially to an infield double from Emily Mulcahey that scored one and resulted when a soft pop-up bounced between Granada Hills’ catcher and third baseman and rolled into foul territory.
Catalina Alonso and Alyssa Sinisterra also singled in runs for Glendale.
The final run for Glendale came in the fourth when Ellingford walked with two outs, stole second and scored on an infield hit from Sammy Serrano.
Follow Andrew J. Campa on Twitter: @campadresports.