GRANADA HILLS — The Burbank 10-11 All-Stars were given a second chance to win the Section 2 softball championship.
After losing to San Marino Tuesday and falling short of the title, Burbank got a reprieve Wednesday. But the locals would have to beat the same San Marino squad in an if-necessary game to capture the championship.
Burbank hit the ball well and scored its share of runs in the contest. The only problem was San Marino did the same. Using the same small-ball tactics it employed to win Tuesday's contest, San Marino came through Wednesday with a 13-10 victory at the Granada Hills Little League Fields that earned it the Section 2 crown.
Burbank, the District 16 champion, was also hampered by errors that allowed San Marino — the District 17 champion — to score a portion of its runs.
"They really bunted the ball well," Burbank Coach Kim Dabbadie said of San Marino. "They were able to get those hits and they were able to manufacture some runs.
"But we can't be disappointed with their play, even though we did make some errors. Their spirit was high and they did a lot to even get to this point. They have to be happy with the effort."
Although the Burbank players were pleased with their effort, the loss did sting somewhat.
"We're kind of happy with how well we did," said Burbank left fielder Olivia Oberlander, who was two for three with a walk, a run batted in and two runs scored. "But it's also sad that we didn't win."
San Marino did an excellent job of manufacturing runs. The team bunted often, took extra bases and also capitalized on Burbank mistakes. Because of that, San Marino scored runs in all five of the innings it was up to bat.
Despite San Marino's scoring prowess, Burbank was able to stay in the game until late.
Burbank opened the contest by tallying two runs in the top of the first inning. Natalie Hopper legged out an infield hit and eventually came around to score on a wild pitch. Ashley London reached base on an error and motored home on another wild pitch.
But the lead didn't last long, as San Marino came back to score four runs in its half of the first.
San Marino increased its advantage to 6-2 with two runs in the third.
But like two prize fighters trading punches, Burbank regained the lead by tallying five runs in the third for a 7-6 advantage. Burbank drew three walks, had a batter hit and received hits from Oberlander, Sidnie Dabbadie (two for four with two runs) and Hana Savola in the inning. Oberlander also drove in a run in the frame that saw Burbank bring 10 players to the plate.
Once again, however, the momentum shifted and San Marino plated three runs in the bottom of the third to surge ahead, 9-7.
The back-and-forth struggle continued in the fourth when Burbank went up, 10-9, only to see San Marino tie it at 10 with a single run in the bottom of the frame.
The crushing blow for Burbank came in the fifth inning when San Marino scored three runs on three hits.
Burbank then went down in order in the sixth inning.
"We told them that this is a lesson learned," Kim Dabbadie said. "They really had a good effort out there and we're proud of them."
Sami Fiorella was one for two with two walks and to runs scored for Burbank.