ARCADIA — Players and coaches from the Burbank High softball team realized they would likely be battling Burroughs and Crescenta Valley in their quest for a Pacific League title this season.
But Arcadia made an early bid to put itself among the upper-echelon teams of the league, beginning with two straight wins and outscoring its opponents by a combined 25 runs in those two victories.
The Bulldogs brought the Apaches back down to earth Tuesday, as they earned a 3-0 win on the road to remain undefeated in the league standings.
"I give Arcadia a lot of credit, they have always hung in there with us and we usually don't score a lot of runs against them," Burbank Coach Nicole Drabecki said. "I wouldn't be surprised if they steal a game from Crescenta Valley or even Burroughs."
The win enabled the Bulldogs (11-1, 4-0 in league) to creep closer to a rivalry showdown of possible undefeated league teams when they take on Burroughs (11-1, 3-0) on April 19 at Olive Park. The Indians did not play Tuesday.
Until that clash, Burroughs has a league game Thursday at Pasadena and Burbank plays April 17 at Muir.
Burbank junior left fielder Katie Hooper said the team is trying not to get distracted with the game against Burroughs looming.
"We don't try to look too far ahead, but we want to keep ourselves consistent and we want to keep getting better so we can be ready and hopefully beat them," Hooper said.
Hooper led the way on offense against Arcadia (7-4, 2-1), going three for four with a run batted in, two runs scored and two stolen bases.
Burbank also received a fine effort in the circle by freshman pitcher Caitlyn Brooks. Brooks hurled a complete game three-hitter and had at least two strikeouts in each of the first six innings — finishing with 13.
The Bulldogs did see their offense stall at times, leaving the bases loaded in two innings without scoring a run in either instance. In all, they stranded nine runners.
"I'm disappointed that we weren't able to get more offense out of our players in this game," Drabecki said. "We have to be able to score runs in the situations like we had. We were fortunate. If this was a deeper team we were playing, I think we could have been leaving here with a loss."
The Bulldogs scored a single run in the first inning off an Arcadia error. They added another run in the second inning on a wild pitch and Hooper drove in a run in the fifth.