BURBANK — Burroughs High softball player Hannah Skinner lofted a ball toward left field, and as the ball slowly descended, the fans and players at Olive Park were left fixated.
As the ball was caught by Burbank left fielder Izzy Sanchez, Burroughs’ Alyssa Valenzuela darted home with the game-winning run.
In a topsy-turvy rivalry game Friday, Burroughs scored twice in the seventh to defeat Burbank, 5-4, in a Pacific League contest.
“I actually think the turning point was when I brought in [Sabrina Englebrecht] and she brought in a great hit,” Burroughs coach Wes Tanigawa said. “She got another hit second time up and I think that just really motivated the team.
“Towards the end of the game, the girls were kind of coming down a little bit and I think Sabrina coming up right off the bench and getting that hit just pumped them all back up.”
The Indians (7-5, 5-1 in league) trailed, 4-3, at the bottom of the seventh. With bases loaded, Englebrecht struck a one-out single up the middle to score shortstop Lauryn Valencia to knot it at 4.
Skinner followed and connected on a 1-0 pitch for the walk-off sacrifice fly to drive home Valenzuela to put an end to the first of two cross-town tilts between the teams.
“I felt calm,” Skinner said. “I knew I was there already. With runners on, it didn’t really faze me. I knew it was a front toss. I already had a few hits before, so I knew what I was doing.
“I knew what [Burbank pitcher Alyssa Porras] was throwing. She was throwing all that junk and I knew she was tired at that point, so I was just waiting on it and I knew to stay on it.”
Skinner and Valenzuela both recorded three hits, and drove in a run and scored a run.
Burroughs pitcher Dyani Del Castillo tossed seven innings, giving up six hits and three earned runs.
Burbank’s Alyssa Porras threw a complete game with four strikeouts and four earned runs on 12 hits.
“They did a good job with hitting locations and stuff and we knew that was coming,” Burbank coach Mike Delaney said. “You’ve got to be able to make adjustments and it took us a long time to start figuring that out.”
Porras also recorded two hits, including a double. Burbank senior Izzy Sanchez collected a hit, a run and an RBI, sophomore Erika Montoya tripled and scored a run and senior Alex Davis hit a two-out solo home run in the fifth to tie the game at 3.
Burroughs also received a pair of hits from Mia Storer and Morgan Mersola, Del Castillo and Englebrecht.
With two outs in the bottom of the first, the Indians strung together four consecutive hits and scored twice for a 2-0 lead.
Burbank (4-6-1, 3-3) responded the following inning as Montoya led off the top of the third with a triple before a single from Sanchez drove the sophomore in to cut Burroughs’ lead to 2-1.
A throwing error from catcher to first and another throwing error from shortstop to third brought Sanchez home to tie the score at 2 with one out at the top of the third.
Burroughs regained the lead in the bottom of the frame behind a two-out RBI-single from Storer that scored Skinner to make it 3-2.
Porras then shut out the Indians for the next four innings, while Davis hit a game-tying solo home run in the fifth to knot it at 3.
“It’s like I told the kids today, we can’t waste innings,” Delaney said. “We just have to make them as productive as you can. It was a good ebb-and-flow in the game. We rattled them. They rattled us. It’s typical Burbank-Burroughs game from that aspect.”
Porras doubled at the top of the seventh and Victoria Sanchez’s sacrifice fly drove in pinch-runner Savannah Benson to give the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead.
The Indians singled twice to start the bottom of the seventh, and after Porras struck out Citali Mendez, the pitcher hit the following batter to load up the bases.