SANTA CLARITA — After a lopsided loss to open the Section 2 tournament, the Burbank Little League 8-10 All-Stars battled their way back.
The Media City squad shook off the loss and proceeded to win its next two games in the tournament, advancing to Tuesday’s championship game.
Unfortunately for Burbank, it couldn’t complete the comeback, falling to Quartz Hill, 14-2, in the title game at Canyon Country Little League that was called in the fourth inning.
“That is just a great hitting team,” Burbank coach Peter Orozco said of Quartz Hill, the District 51 representative. “Our pitchers played three games in a row and they were just out of gas, you could see that. They didn’t have their pitches and they were struggling.
“We tried to keep the ball inside but the Quartz Hill batters were catching up to everything and knocking everything down.”
Burbank, the District 16 representative, suffered a 10-0 loss Saturday to San Marino of District 17 and came back Sunday to topple host Canyon Country of District 40, 4-1. Burbank then defeated San Marino, 6-4, on Monday to earn a berth in the championship.
“We have four girls who have never played softball before and they were just so nervous in the first game that we played,” Orozco said. “Some of them were even crying they were so scared.
“I’m really proud of the way our girls got over that first loss of the tournament and got us a chance in the championship game. This team just battled.”
Burbank mustered just three hits against Quartz Hill starting pitcher Shay Scripter, who went four innings, striking out eight and not walking a batter.
“Three hits aren’t going to do it if you want to win,” Orozco said.
Two of the Burbank hits came from lead-off hitter Olivia Orozco, who had a pair of singles and scored a run.
Quartz Hill, which took advantage of six Burbank errors, came out swinging, pushing across six runs in the bottom of the first inning on five hits. The first five batters of the inning got on base on four hits and a walk.
With one run coming across on an error, Bella Heasley (two for three with four runs batted in and two runs scored) powered an inside-the-park home that scored three, Sydnee Scripter (two for three) delivered a run-scoring triple and Shay Scripter had an RBI single.
“We take a different approach than most softball teams in that we don’t do a lot of bunting and we look to put the ball in play,” Quartz Hill coach Chris Paxon said. “The three things that we preach to the girls is come up to the plate with confidence, get a good pitch to hit and the last is hit it hard.
“As long as we go up there and hit the ball hard, we see it as a win.”
Quartz Hill increased its lead to 9-0 with three runs in the second on just two hits and three Burbank errors.
Burbank finally broke the shutout in the third inning to get to within 9-2. Olivia Orozco singled to left field and scored on an inside-the-park home run to right field by Isabella Barerra.
Two more Burbank errors in the third inning aided in Quartz Hill scoring five runs to increase its advantage to 14-2.
Quartz Hill advanced to the State Tournament that begins Saturday at Kent Mace Field in Westchester.