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Burbank 9-10-11 Little League softball All-Stars capture Section 2 title

GLENDALE — Just one run separated the Burbank 9-10-11 District 16 Little League All-Star softball team and San Marino in the top of the fifth inning in their Section 2 Tournament title game Tuesday at Pelanconi Park.

However, in the bottom of the fifth, Burbank’s one-run lead turned into two, and then with bases loaded, Suzie Barrios lined a double to center field to drive in three more runs.

The four-run spurt helped lift Burbank to a 9-4 sectional win, booking the Media City team’s spot in the Division III state tournament.

Burbank saw an early three-run lead cut to one in the top of the third, and though Burbank enjoyed a three-run lead at the bottom of the fourth, San Marino, the District 17 representative, stormed back in the top of the fifth to whittle the Burbank advantage to 5-4.

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“I just told them, win or lose, relax and have fun,” Burbank coach Paloma Arteaga said. “Enjoy the end of it and relax and have fun. If we lose, we come back tomorrow, and if we win, we win all out.

“[Monday], we were talking about how there’s no pressure on us. They had to beat us twice to come back, so I told them there’s no pressure. I think that’s what kept them relaxed.”

As Burbank loaded up the bases on a pair of walks and an infield single in the bottom of the fifth, Barrios belted her second double of the game on the first pitch. The ball dipped toward center to clear the bases and gave Burbank a 9-4 lead.

“I kind of got too excited on the last at-bat,” Barrios said. “But then I just hit it really hard.”

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Barrios finished with two doubles and five runs batted in, while Delaney White drove in two runs, registered two hits and scored a pair of runs. Sophiee Velasquez and Liliana Esobar each scored a run and recorded a hit, Madison Meisenbach scored two runs and Hailey Perez and Kaylie Lowe each recorded an RBI.

Burbank, which won the District 16 title with a 14-0 victory over Tujunga in four innings on June 25, started pitcher Hailey Franco, who tossed two innings, struck out two, walked three and allowed two hits and two runs. Closer Liliana Escobar threw three innings, striking out six, walking one and yielding three runs and one hit.

Burbank will travel to Lancaster for the first game of the Division III State Tournament at 6 p.m. Saturday.

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