Playing for a championship

No team in the history of the Burbank Little League had ever advanced to a World Series championship game.

The Burbank Major Softball All-Star team had a chance to advance to the championship game of the 2010 Little League Softball World Series by making it to Tuesday's semifinals.

Burbank was able to keep its dream season alive by earning a 10-0 victory against Tigard, Ore., in a game at Alpenrose Stadium in Portland, Ore.

The game was halted after four innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

The win puts Burbank into the championship game at 4 p.m. today. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. The locals will play the winner of Warner Robbins, Ga. and Poland, Ohio.

Burbank used a big six-run second inning to do most of its damage against host Oregon.

"That inning was huge for us," Burbank Manager Bruce Del Castillo said. "I think after we went up that that many the girls could kind of taste the victory. That really motivated them."

Davina Del Castillo went two for three with a triple and four runs batted in and Jade Teetsel and Bridgette Pisa were two for two for Burbank.

Delaney Nicol got Burbank started in the first inning, as she walked and scored. Burbank also scored three runs in the fourth inning.

Del Castillo started in the circle and pitched two innings. She and Teetsel combined to limit Oregon to two hits.

"I was really happy with the way both of them pitched," Bruce Del Castillo said. "They did a great job for us."

The 12-and-under Burbank team was able to advance to the semifinal game by finishing first in Pool A with a 3-1 record.

Burbank actually tied for the top spot in its pool with the Central and Southwest teams. However, the locals garnered the No. 1 seed because they allowed the fewest runs of the three during pool play.

However, reaching the final four wasn't an easy task for the locals. Along with losing a game in pool play, they also survived by winning another contest, 1-0.

"There are some very good teams here," Bruce Del Castillo said. "We knew that it wasn't going to be easy, and we knew that we were going to have to work for everything that we get. It's a tough tournament."

After beginning the tournament Thursday with an easy 18-2 mercy-rule victory against Puerto Rico, Burbank followed that with an 11-2 triumph Friday against Canada.

Against the Canadians — from the Layritz Little League in Victoria, British Columbia — Burbank got out to another quick start, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning.

Jade Teetsel reached base on an error and scored on a ground-out by Davina Del Castillo. Kaitlin Okimoto singled in the inning and came around to score on an error.

The locals were able to increase the score to 6-0 until Canada scored two runs of its own in the fourth inning. Burbank added a single run in the fifth and one in the sixth in a nine-hit effort.

Michelle Santiago and Pisa had two hits each for Burbank.

After playing a late game Friday against Canada, Burbank had to return for an early contest Saturday morning. The locals didn't look sharp, as they fell to the Southwest team from Brenham, Texas, 3-0.

"I'm not making excuses, but it was really tough for our girls to play that late game and have to come back first thing in the morning," Bruce Del Castillo said. "They were only able to get about five hours of sleep. I think that really hurt us.

"We came out flat and we made some errors. We just didn't play our best."

Southwest scored three runs in the fifth inning, as Burbank was limited to just three hits.

The Texas team did not advance to the championship round.

The local were able to bounce back, however, scratching out a 1-0 victory Sunday against a Central team from Poland, Ohio.

Burbank accounted for the game's lone run by Lili Flores on a passed ball in the third inning. Davina Del Castillo and Pisa had Burbank's only hits in the contest.

Central was able load the bases in the third inning. However, Teetsel, who started in the circle for Burbank, got Allyson Deemer to fly out, ending the threat.

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