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Indians, Pioneers make it to CIF

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

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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

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I’m hoping this opportunity translates to a good showing by our

players.

“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.

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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

finish.

“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.”

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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

walks.

Bishop Amat is led by junior right-hander Katie Rojano, who is

11-4.

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

postseason.

“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

lightly.”

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

Horizon League.

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

1997.

Staff writer Erik Boal contributed to this story.


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