The disappointment was written on Jennifer Gomez’s face.
The Burroughs High softball coach was proud of her team’s valiant
effort against Crescenta Valley on Saturday in a semifinal game of
the third annual San Fernando Valley Victory Spring Classic, but she
knew the Indians were a break or two away from pulling off the upset
-- and that’s what hurt.
The Indians played well in some stretches against the Falcons at
Encino’s Hjelte Sports Center, but they couldn’t string together a
sustained rally in a 2-1 loss to CV.
“We’re a work in progress,” Gomez said. “I’m disappointed in the
outcome. We’re better than what we showed.”
Indian starting pitcher Dani Regan (7-5) had a strong outing --
something she has been doing all season --allowing five hits and
striking out four.
However, a crucial mistake in the first inning made the difference
between CV (8-2) having to pack its bags to move to the adjacent
field for the championship game -- which it won by defeating Granada
Hills, 2-1, in 10 innings -- and the Indians staying right where they
Falcon outfielder Megan Luna reached base in the top of the first
on an error and teammate Kirsten Whitt did an good job of fouling off
a handful of pitches to draw a 12-pitch walk, putting runners on
first and second with just one out.
CV junior standout Amanda Peek -- who played baseball her first
two years in high school before joining the softball team as a
dominant, hard-throwing catcher -- slammed a triple to left-center
field to score the Falcons’ lone runs.
“She just tomahawked the ball over my centerfielder’s head,” Gomez
Burroughs (8-5) cut the Falcons’ lead in half in the bottom half
of the first when Janette Galindo’s infield single brought home Val
Rico, who had doubled to center and went to third on a wild pitch.
But the Indians stranded five runners -- two in scoring position
-- after the first inning, much to the frustration of Gomez.
“When you leave kids on second base, it’s difficult to bring runs
across,” said Gomez, whose team was two for seven with runners on
Falcon starting pitcher Sarah Sherman (8-2) forced seven flyouts,
eight groundouts and struck out three. The senior, who was an
outfielder in her previous two years on varsity, surrendered six hits
-- with Rico, Galindo and Regan collecting two apiece -- and walked
“She bore down,” CV Coach Dan Berry said. “The kids did what they
had to do in a tough game.
“Everything was at stake here and the kids did well. That says
something about our team and how they respond.”
For Burroughs, the one-run loss seems to be a trend for the team.
“We have had so many one-run and so many close games that we lost
this season,” Gomez said. “We have been in every game.”