NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Shortly after helping the Crescenta Valley Junior All-Star softball team win the District 16 championship against Burbank on Tuesday night, pitcher Olivia Thayer paused briefly before describing the makeup of her team.
"Our team is like a puzzle and we know how to put the pieces together," Thayer said after Crescenta Valley posted a 15-1 victory in the championship game called after six innings because of the 10-run mercy rule at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields.
Crescenta Valley showed how to complete the puzzle, thanks to a tough lineup and the ability to make key pitches when needed. Crescenta Valley will next compete in the Section 2 Tournament. It will meet Quartz Hill, which won the District 51 title, in an opening-round game at 8 p.m. Saturday at Monte Vista Little League Field in Lancaster.
Crescenta Valley finished with 18 hits. Thayer and Adela Alatraca combined to limit Burbank to four hits.
"We have a high-powered offense and our hitters are tough, one through nine," said Crescenta Valley Coach Will Thayer, whose team began the tournament Monday with a 15-5 win against Burbank at Scholl. "The team has got power and can also hit for average.
"We feel like when we are on our game, we can always do well. Every game is a new game."
Crescenta Valley proved it Wednesday night, scoring three runs in the top of the second to grab a 3-0 lead. Clair Oconnor walked with the bases loaded to make it 1-0 before Alatraca had a two-run single to raise the lead to 3-0.
Burbank battled back with a run in the fourth to make it 3-1 on a run-scoring single by Brooke Radcliffe. With the bases loaded and one out, Alatraca got Jazmin Orozco to hit into a 6-2-3 double play.
"We had the start of a run in that inning," Burbank Coach Steve Valenzuela said. "That was a big play.
"It's great to get this far and we will be back next year."
Will Thayer said the double play shifted the momentum back to Crescenta Valley.
"There's always going to be a moment or moments where's there's a turning point in a game," he said. "[Shortstop] Jessica Madeira turns that double play so well and then we go back out there and score some more runs."
Crescenta Valley, which got four hits from Marissa Cornelius, scored five runs in the fifth to make it 8-1. Alatraca had a ground-rule double to make it 4-1 before Thayer and Tiffany Briscoe drove in runs to extend the lead to 6-1. Two Burbank errors made it 8-1.
Crescenta Valley completed the scoring with seven runs in the sixth, highlighted by a line-drive grand slam to left from Briscoe that made it 13-1.
Briscoe and Alatraca each finished the game with three hits.