SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — For the last three seasons, teams like Glendale High have had to deal with Burbank pitcher Kristin Peraza in Pacific League competition.
Peraza, a senior All-CIF Southern Section pick last season and a perennial All-Area and all-league standout, had a 21-3 record in 2008 in leading the Bulldogs to a second-place league finish.
But Burbank has had to start the season without the services of its ace, as Peraza is recovering from a leg surgery.
Even with Peraza sidelined, the Nitros found out Thursday that the Bulldogs are still a formidable squad.
Freshman pitcher Kristi Hale threw a solid game and Burbank gave her plenty of early support, as the Bulldogs breezed to a 14-0 league victory at Glendale. The game was called after five innings because of the five-run mercy rule.
Burbank Coach Nicole Drabecki said the Bulldogs (3-3, 2-0 in league) have been able to play well in league despite missing Peraza.
“[Peraza] is still recovering, and it’s probably going to be a couple of more weeks until we can see how she’s doing,” Drabecki said. “At that time, we’ll assess her progress.”
The best chance for the Nitros (1-5, 1-1) to score came in the fourth inning. With one out, Samantha Dickens roped a Hale pitch that bounced to the left-center field fence. However, Dickens was thrown out at the plate when she tried to stretch a triple into a home run.
Glendale lead-off hitter Marlene Malabug went two for three.
The Bulldogs were able to tap three Glendale pitchers for 14 runs on 11 hits. Nitros Coach Christine Paknik thought changing her pitchers might help her hurlers get a few calls in their favor.
“I told them that they couldn’t have pitched better than they did,” she said. “They were just not getting any calls at all. It’s frustrating because they’re out there giving their best and everything is going against them.”
The Bulldogs gave Hale some big support in the first inning. They brought 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs on just two hits, one each from Ashley Ortiz and Kassi Smith.
Burbank was able to stay alive in the inning due in part to three Glendale errors.