LA VERNE — Entering the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division III softball playoffs, Burroughs High was coming off a heart-wrenching defeat in the regular season finale that denied the Indians a share of the Pacific League title.
Going on the road to face Bonita, it was the Indians’ challenge to shake it off and keep their season alive.
Behind a shutout performance from pitcher Presley Miraglia, the Indians got back to their winning ways and came away with a 2-0 win over the host Bearcats on Thursday.
With the win, Burroughs (14-5-1), which finished second in the Pacific League behind Crescenta Valley, advances to the second round Tuesday. The Indians will host Redlands East Valley.
“[My team] is coming off a huge loss from Burbank and they got motivated and came together to try to fight back and make something happen today,” Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said.
Miraglia, the 2017 Pacific League Pitcher of the Year, led the way for Burroughs, going the distance in the circle. The senior was dominant against Bonita (15-10), yielding a mere four hits and two walks, while striking out seven. In total, she threw 99 pitches.
The game ended with Miraglia’s seventh strikeout, as Bonita had two on and the winning run at the plate.
“It’s different [in the playoffs],” Miraglia said. “It’s different because you are used to playing against the same girls all the time knowing who can hit and who can’t. Then you come to a team you know nothing about. It’s a little harder, but it’s more fun.”
Indians center fielder Hannah Talavera starred at the plate as well in the field. In the top of the third, the senior drove in what would turn out to be the winning run. Memorie Munoz led off by drawing a walk from Bearcat pitcher Serena Navarrete. Later, with one out and Munoz on second after she stole the base, Talavera came up and smacked the seventh pitch of the at-bat down the third-base line to drive in the first run of the game with a double.
“The inside pitch is my favorite pitch,” Talavera said. “I just kept fouling them and [then] she threw one perfect [for me] and I just saw it and I hit it.”
In the bottom of the inning, Talavera made a spectacular defensive play to rob Bonita’s Sofia Delgado of extra bases leading off. Delgado drove a pitch deep into center field, but Talavera turned and ran after it, diving in the direction of the fence to snag the ball and record the out.
“I love diving catches. Those are like my favorite things, they really are,” Talavera said. “I saw it and I just leaped up in the air and tumbled after. I knew I had the ball, so I was really happy about that.”
Despite holding the Bearcats — the second-place team from the Palomares League — without a run, Miraglia had three innings where she escaped with a runner on third.
In the second, Bonita had the bases loaded with two outs, thanks to an error and both of Miraglia’s walks. However, Miraglia buckled down and struck out the next batter.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Bearcats had another runner on third with two outs, but, once again, Miraglia struck out the next batter.
In the fifth with two outs, a Bearcat got to third base when the Indians hurler was called for an illegal pitch, but Miraglia struck out the next batter looking on the seventh pitch.
“Presley is an absolute workhorse. Sometimes the girls rely on her a little too much, but today everyone came out and did their part,” Tanigawa said.
Burroughs had six hits. In addition to Talavera’s double, the rest were singles with Sierra Harvey and Miraglia each getting two while Nikki Ricciardella had one.
Indian Jessica Amaya scored the visitor’s insurance run on an error after reaching on an error earlier in the sixth inning.