MCCAMBRIDGE PARK — Thirteen batters came to the plate for the Burbank High softball team in the first inning of its Pacific League contest against Hoover on Thursday afternoon.
Ten of them scored and the Bulldogs never looked back.
It’s the kind of dominance that the Bulldogs will gladly take any time they have the opportunity.
“We are an aggressive team and we want to score early and often in a game,” Burbank Coach Nicole Drabecki said after Burbank posted a 15-5 win against visiting Hoover in a game called in the bottom of the sixth because of the 10-run mercy rule. “Anything can happen over those next [six] innings, so it’s good to get that big of a lead and it helps with their confidence.”
The Bulldogs (6-10, 5-2 in league) appeared quite confident handling the bat in the first. They collected seven hits, including back-to-back home runs from Nalani Hernandez and Katie Hooper. Hoover (5-8, 3-4) spent nearly 30 minutes watching Burbank enjoy its big inning.
Burbank took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly to center by Hooper and Crystal Diaz added a run-scoring double to make it 2-0. A run-scoring single by Tiffany Pisa made it 3-0 and a bases-loaded walk by Sarah Riojas extended the lead to 4-0.
Jessica Murphy then sliced a ground-rule double to left to make it 6-0 and a ground out by Laina Do hiked the lead to 7-0. Hernandez then hit a two-run home run over the left-field fence to make it 9-0 before Hooper hit an inside-the-park home run to center to cap the scoring.
Hernandez said she searched for an inside fastball during her second plate appearance in the inning.
“I told myself to swing if I got that pitch,” said Hernandez, who finished with two of Burbank’s 14 hits in the contest. “It felt good to hit that pitch out.
“We are a pretty aggressive team. If we see a pitch we like, we just go for it.”
Burbank took an 11-0 lead in the second on a run-scoring single by Riojas.
After Hoover cut the lead to 11-1 in the third, Burbank responded with a run in its half of the inning on a sacrifice fly to left by Diaz to make it 12-1.
The Tornadoes scored four runs in the fifth to close to within 12-5. However, Pisa came through with a two-run double in the bottom of the inning to make it 14-5. A run-scoring single by Do in the sixth completed the scoring.
Burbank won both head-to-head meetings against Hoover. The Bulldogs earned a 21-4 win at Hoover on March 30.
“Hoover came back on us a little [Thursday],” Drabecki said. “They fight and they don’t give up.”