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Top-seeded Crescenta Valley softball blanks Glendora to advance to CIF quarterfinals

LA CRESCENTA — Being the No. 1 seed in the CIF Southern Section Division III playoffs isn’t something that’s been discussed too much by members of the Crescenta Valley High softball team.

Between the foul lines, the Falcons don’t want to relish in the honor.

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With sophomore pitcher Dee Dee Hernandez and a deep lineup, it’s not hard for the Falcons to stick to the goal of winning the program’s first CIF championship since 1986.

Crescenta Valley moved a step closer to that goal Tuesday, as Hernandez struck out seven and scattered three hits and Kristy Taix had three hits and drove in two runs to propel host Crescenta Valley to an 8-0 win against Glendora in a second-round game.

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Crescenta Valley (24-5-1) will meet San Juan Hills in a quarterfinal road contest Thursday. San Juan Hills (17-7) earned a 9-2 win against Patriot on Tuesday.

Crescenta Valley, which has won three straight Pacific League championships, turned to Hernandez to hold Glendora (17-14) at bay.

“You know teams will be out there to get you when you are the No. 1 seed, but we have a good team and we just do a good job at supporting each other,” said Hernandez, a sophomore and reigning All-Area Softball Player of the Year. “I felt strong out there and tried to keep getting ahead in the count and then our offense broke through and got some runs. Definitely a big relief.”

Hernandez, a left-hander who struck out two in the fourth and seventh innings, pitched her second straight shutout in the playoffs. She struck out six in Crescenta Valley’s 2-0 opening-round win against Brea Olinda Thursday.

“Dee Dee came up big once again,” Crescenta Valley coach Amanda Peek said. “She’s confident out there and she’s got her teammates backing her up with strong defense. She’s got that mental edge.

“We’re not worried about being the top seed. We beat a good Glendora team and we just have to focus on what’s ahead of us.”

The Falcons broke through against the Tartans with three runs in the fourth and fifth innings before scoring twice in the sixth.

Stephanie Wichman gave the Falcons a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly to left in the fourth. Alyssa Hernandez added a two-run single with two outs to extend the lead to 3-0.

Taix, who had three singles, made it 4-0 with a bases-loaded single in the fifth. Wichmann later had a two-run single to give Crescenta Valley a 6-0 lead.

“It was a big moment to score those runs in the fourth and then in the fifth innings,” Taix said. “We have a lineup that’s good at making contact.”

Maddie De Leon and Taix each drove in a run in the sixth for the Falcons.

Crescenta Valley finished with 11 hits, getting two each from Alyssa Hernandez and De Leon.

Glendora, which tied for second in the Palomares League before beginning the playoffs with a 2-1 win against Mayfair, had its best scoring opportunity in the fourth. Hernandez got a strikeout with runners on first and second to end the threat.

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