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Suggestion paves way for victory

Charles Rich

She sought constructive criticism.

Perhaps the best suggestion came when she was asked to spend extra

time in the batting cage and develop a pivot in her swing. Crescenta


Valley 12-year-old softball player Tara Thomas regained her pivot to

register a clutch hit.

Thomas delivered a two-run single in the second inning Wednesday

to propel the CV Major Softball All-Star team to an 8-4 win against


Mission Hills in a first-round game in the Little League Section 2

Tournament at Sunnyslope Little League Field. CV (3-0) will face the

District 18 champion in a winner’s-bracket semifinal game at 5:30

p.m. today at Sunnyslope Little League Field.

Thomas started the game on the bench before CV Coach Jim Mulligan

summoned her to pinch hit for Nichole Duncan with the bases loaded.

Thomas looped a single to right field to highlight a five-run inning.

Relief had been engraved on Thomas’ face and the extra batting


practice helped her break out of a slump.

“I had not been hitting well and that’s because I wasn’t

pivoting,” Thomas said. “Jim told me and I’m always looking for

suggestions. I thought the ball would go foul because I swung late.

Maybe that hit will boost my confidence.”

CV, the District 16 representative, also received a two-run single

from Kylie Mulligan in the fourth and provided starting pitcher

Baillie Kirker (2-0) with ample run support.


Kirker limited Mission Hills (2-1) to three hits. Mission Hills,

the District 40 representative, made her work as she walked 10 and

threw 126 pitches.

“Baillie tired, but the game wasn’t in jeopardy,” Mulligan said.

“We needed to make the plays and I was happy with our defense.

Tara’s hit changed the game. She’d been ripping the ball in the


Mulligan scored two runs and recorded one of CV’s two doubles.