BURBANK — For the second consecutive year, the summer tour for the Burbank Major All-Stars softball team will be heading out of state.
With plenty of clutch pitching, defense and offense, Burbank punched its ticket to the Western Region Tournament on Monday with a pair of victories in the Division 3 Tournament at Monte Vista Little League Fields in Lancaster.
Led by Coach Bruce Del Castillo, Section 2-champion Burbank topped Section 8-champion Southridge, 9-3 and 12-1, in the championship series. Burbank, the Southern California representative, will meet Oregon at 6 p.m. Sunday in an opening-round game of the Western Region Tournament at Fort Vancouver Little League Fields in Fort Vancouver, Wash.
"We were able to create opportunities," said Del Castillo, who also piloted Burbank to a District 16 Tri-Cities championship in June. "We got great defense and pitching and our hitting was contagious.
"When we are on our game, it's hard for anybody to beat us."
In Monday's second game, Burbank held a 2-1 lead when center fielder Jordan Meltzer made a diving catch in the third inning that saved at least two runs and helped turn the tide in Burbank's favor. Burbank scored a run in the fourth to make it 3-1 before pushing across nine runs in the sixth to break the game open. Davina Del Castillo, Michelle Santiago and Denise Daniel came through with consecutive doubles to highlight the inning.
"Jordan made that great catch and she told the team that we weren't going to lose," the elder Del Castillo said. "The defense helped the pitching out in a big way and then we took it from there."
In the earlier contest, Burbank received three hits and three runs from the Del Castillo, two hits and three runs batted in from Santiago and two runs from Jade Teetsel. Teetsel earned both victories in the circle.
After beginning the tournament Friday with an 8-1 victory against West Los Angeles, Burbank then responded with a 12-0 win against Rolando of San Diego. Kaitlin Okimoto and Santiago had run-scoring singles in the fourth to help stake Burbank to a 7-0 lead.
Now, Burbank will get set for the Region Tournament. It will be seeking a more favorable result after finishing third last season.
The winner will move on to the World Series in August in Portland, Ore.
"We expect to keep playing the way we have been playing lately," Del Castillo said.