MCCAMBRIDGE PARK — It took a little more than four innings for the Burbank High softball team to catch fire, but by then it seemed a little too late.
By then, the Bulldogs trailed by six runs. By then, all the momentum was on Bishop Amat’s side.
So, even though Burbank scored four runs to get within striking distance, the Lancers answered with four runs of their own to end the Bulldogs’ season with a 10-4 loss Thursday afternoon in the CIF Southern Section Division III quarterfinals at McCambridge Park.
Eleven hits surrendered and four errors committed spelled Burbank’s demise.
The Bulldogs (23-7) yielded six runs on six hits in the third inning, and trailed the rest of the way.
“We did not play well defensively. We did not hit the ball well offensively,” Burbank Coach Nicole Drabecki said. “And we did not have our best showing today at all.”
At one point in the third, Bishop Amat (24-6) belted three consecutive hits — capped by a double — to take a 6-0 cushion. The Bulldogs then whacked four hits in the fifth inning, cutting the deficit to 6-4.
Katie Hooper’s three-run shot to left field made it possible, though the Lancers countered with the same production in the sixth. It started when Burbank committed an error, surrendered a walk and then yielded two hits — including a double — to finish the inning with a 10-4 disadvantage.
"[Bishop Amat pitcher Sabrina Anguiano] was getting tired and we had all already faced her a couple time, so we were catching on,” Burbank infielder Laina Do said. “We just really wanted to fight back because we wanted to win, but we had a lot of errors.
“Mentally, I don’t think we were in the game after that. It was one error after another. And when you have errors, it results in them scoring runs.”
Through four innings, the Bulldogs got only one hit, a double by Do, who finished two for four. In the fifth, Do got her second hit, as Burbank trimmed the deficit to two.
In all, Burbank had six hits, with four coming in the fifth.
“I think what opened up is they finally had saw enough from that pitcher [Anguiano],” Drabecki said. “She has a great movement. She has a 0.97 ERA. The fact that we scored four runs on her is a great accomplishment for us. It’s a shame that we didn’t get started sooner. We got started slow, and when you get started slow, it’s very hard to come back with a victory.”
Anguiano finished with four strikeouts and a walk. Bulldogs freshman Caitlyn Brooks hurled 126 pitches, struck out three and yielded one walk.
“That’s the game of softball,” Hooper said of the Bulldogs’ miscues Thursday. “In the game of softball, you can’t be perfect.”
Burbank, however, remains optimistic as it graduates only three players and returns 12 next season.
“We’re a young team,” Drabecki said. “I feel like we brought Burbank softball back on the map. And I’m going to do the best to make my players better and make this program better.
“I owe that to this community, so we could get back on the map and be represented in the state.”