BURBANK -- Burroughs High Coach Jennifer Gomez and her counterpart at
Providence -- Maggie Boozel -- have a lot in common.
Both coaches’ guide the only local softball teams to qualify for
the CIF Southern Section playoffs. However, the Indians and Pioneers
were just able to get into the postseason under the wire.
The teams open the playoffs at 3:15 p.m. today with wild-card
games at Olive Park.
“It is a big boost for us to be in the playoffs,” Gomez said. “So
I’m hoping this opportunity translates to a good showing by our
“We have been playing well the last few games, and our hitting has
come around. But I think the key for us will be our defense. If we
play good defense, we can play with any team out there.”
Burroughs (16-9, 6-4 in the Foothill League) was poised to sit the
playoffs out after it ended the regular season Thursday with a 7-0
league win against Burbank to finish fourth.
However, Saugus -- which fell from third to fourth place -- had to
forfeit two of its victories against the Indians for using an
academically ineligible player, giving Burroughs a third-place
“We are excited to be here and we’re going to take advantage if
our situation,” Gomez said.
“We know we are going to have to play very good teams, but we are
going to give it our best.”
Burroughs hosts La Puente Bishop Amat in a Division I game. Bishop
Amat (15-11, 3-5) finished third in the Serra League.
The Indians are paced by sure-hitting senior Ryanne Hodgins, who
has signed with University of New Mexico. Hodgins has a .438 average
with 39 hits. Teammate Val Rico, a junior, is hitting .385 with 30
hits and junior Neomi Escamilla has a .333 average.
The Indians have experience on he mound with senior Dani Regan,
who is 12-11 with a 1.70 earned-run average, 111 strikeouts and 32
Bishop Amat is led by junior right-hander Katie Rojano, who is
Offensively, junior second baseman Tricia Aggabao (.362, 16 runs,
12 RBI), junior third baseman Kathleen Bonja (.353, 17 runs, 10 RBI) and junior shortstop Katharine Gollhardt (.344, 15 runs, two home
runs, 15 RBI) are the biggest threats.
They have a common opponent, with Bishop Amat losing to Crescenta
Valley, 4-0, and Burroughs losing to the Falcons, 2-1.
The winner plays at 10th-ranked Quartz Hill (20-4, 9-1 in the
Golden League) on Friday.
The Pioneers, which will take on San Gabriel Mission, come into
their Division VI game following a roller coaster season.
Providence began the year as the No. 1-ranked team in the
division. However, the defending Liberty League champion struggled in
league play. It took a 26-25 loss by L.A. Windward to North Hollywood
Oakwood in their last league game to push the Pioneers into the
“It doesn’t matter how you get into the playoffs, as long as you
get to the playoffs,” Boozel said. “We are not taking any opponent
Providence (13-5, 5-5) could get a boost by the return of freshman
starting catcher Danielle Austin. Austin suffered a nose injury
midway through league play and has been given medical clearance to
return. Austin was the team’s best hitter before being sidelined.
San Gabriel Mission (9-11, 6-4) is the third-place team from the
If Providence wins, it will travel to top-seed Saddleback Valley
Christian (20-1, 14-0 in the Express League) and play either on
Thursday or Friday.
In 2002, Providence defeated San Gabriel Mission, 3-0, in a
first-round game. It was the first playoff win for the Pioneers since
Staff writer Erik Boal contributed to this story.