BURBANK — Over their first three Pacific League games, the Crescenta Valley High and Burbank softball teams dominated their opponents.
While the Falcons scored 42 runs and didn't allow a run in their three wins, the Bulldogs outscored their opponents by 36 runs over the same span.
When the two squared off Thursday at McCambridge Park, though, it was the Falcons who continued their dominance.
Behind a five-hit shutout from freshman pitcher Deedee Hernandez and plenty of timely hitting, the Falcons defeated the Bulldogs, 8-0, to move into sole possession of first place in the Pacific League.
Crescenta Valley (15-1, 4-0 in league) has been steamrolling opponents in league. The Falcons, who have won 11 straight games, have outscored opponents, 50-0, in their first four league contests.
"Although we've had some success this season, the girls are never satisfied and they are always looking for more," Crescenta Valley coach Amanda Peek said. "Just in our talk today after the game they were talking about they have to do some things better and they have to clean this and that up.
"That is the great thing about this team, they know there are things that they can do to get better and they are willing to do that. And it's the fact that they want to do it, not because the coaches want them to do it."
The Falcons received another excellent performance in the circle against Burbank (6-5, 3-1) from Hernandez, who threw her fourth straight league shutout. The freshman allowed five hits while striking out nine and not walking a batter.
Things didn't start off well for Hernandez, who gave up a triple to left-center field in the first inning to Burbank leadoff hitter Amaya Broyles. But Broyles got caught in a rundown and was thrown out at third base and Hernandez got out of the jam.
"I know my defense is always going to have my back," said Hernandez, who helped her cause by going two for three with a walk, run batted in and run scored. "I know they are always going to play good defense behind me and that helps me out a lot."
The Falcons began their scoring with a run in the third inning. Center fielder Kristy Taix reached on an error, stole second and scored on a single to center field by right fielder Devon Medina.
In the fourth, Crescenta Valley pushed across three runs to increase its advantage to 4-0, scoring one run on a triple to left-center by shortstop Alyssa Hernandez (three for four with a triple, double and three runs scored), another on a ground-out by Medina and a third on an error.
A three-run inside-the-park home run in the seventh by first baseman Maddie De Leon highlighted a four-run frame for the Falcons. Deedee Hernandez also drove in a run on a single to center field.
Designated player Stephanie Wichman was two for three with a run scored and third baseman Peyton had a triple for the Falcons, who tallied 12 hits.
The Bulldogs also put a runner on third in the sixth inning and also stranded runners at second base in the third, fourth and seventh innings.
Of Burbank's nine strikeouts, seven were looking.
"That was a message that we were tried to tell them all day yesterday at practice was that you have to be able to defend both sides of the plate," Burbank coach Mike Delaney said. "[Hernandez] was really good, she stayed consistent about a ball or two off the plate and the ump gave it to her. In those situations we have to adjust.
"For the first five or six innings, I thought it was a pretty close game. Even when they were up 4-0, I thought we were still in it. That's probably the most runners she's had on base in a whole game."
Burbank right fielder Sarah Garelick was two for three and left fielder Anysia Gonzalez and designated player Desi Gomez had singles.