It’s not the start the Burbank Senior Little League All-Star softball team had imagined.
After easily winning Section 2, state and West Region championships, Burbank has encountered a rough beginning in the World Series in Lower Sussex, Del.
Burbank struggled at the plate and in in the field, committing five errors en route to a 13-2 loss against Canada on Tuesday. The game was called after six innings.
The defeat came on the heels of a tough 7-6 loss to Central Region champion Michigan on Monday, thus putting the Media City squad in a tough position.
“It’s not a good start and we’ve struggled in the field; I can’t really explain it,” Burbank Manager Rocco Buffolino said. “It’s not the team I know.
“It’s tough to lose, but I’m still very confident. Maybe we’ll have a team meeting and try to iron out things so we can get back on track. We need to go out there and win our next two [pool-play] games. “
Hampton of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, never trailed against Burbank, which is the first area squad to compete in a World Series since the Burbank Major team advanced to a championship game in 2010.
Canada scored a run in the top of the first inning before Burbank tied the score at 1 in the bottom of the inning on a run-scoring single by Clarisa Robles.
Canada scored one run in the second inning to take a 2-1 advantage and extended the lead to 7-1 with a five-run fourth. Burbank, looking to become the first area team to win a World Series crown since a senior team from Crescenta Valley/Foothill/Jewel City/Jewish War Veterans completed the task in 2001, pulled to within 7-2 in the fourth.
Canada, which finished with 17 hits, scored six runs in the sixth to seal the victory and improve to 2-0 after posting a 3-0 win Monday against the Southeast Region champion.
Canada starting pitcher Payton Henderson earned the victory, yielding two runs on four hits while striking out six.
On Monday, Burbank saw its bid for a comeback victory fall short against Central, the Michigan District 9 champion.
The Media City squad scored three runs in the bottom of the first to grab a 3-1 lead. Gigi Garcia hit a three-run home run in the inning to stake the locals to the advantage.
“We had Michigan, but we just couldn’t close the deal,” Buffolino said. “We couldn’t convert on a couple of double-play attempts and we just looked like a completely different team. These are better teams compared to the teams we saw beforehand.”
Lily Stell and Garcia finished with two hits apiece. Stell, Savannah Benson and Victoria Sanchez all drove in one run.
Ann Buffolino struck out six and allowed eight hits in going the distance for Burbank, which is the 10th area team to participate in the World Series since 1980.
Burbank will resume pool-play competition at 7 a.m. Wednesday against Europe-Africa (Netherlands) and will take on the Southeast Region squad from Florence, S.C., at noon Thursday.