NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Making up an early multiple-run deficit wasn't going to be a problem for the members of the Crescenta Valley Muir-Chase Plumbing Junior Softball team.
For that to happen, Muir-Chase needed to seize the momentum by making things happen quickly. They did just that.
Muir-Chase scored four runs in the first and second innings, then held on for a 9-6 victory against the Tujunga Crush in an opening-round contest of the Tri-Cities Junior Softball Tournament at Scholl Canyon Park on Monday night.
"We got aggressive on the bases and you saw what we could do," said Muir-Chase Coach Will Thayer, whose team will face Crescenta Valley Purist or the Burbank Diamonds in a winner's-bracket game at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the same location. "When we can force the issue, then we can create some scoring chances."
Hailey Cookson, Marissa Cornelius and Claire Mencia each had run-scoring singles to give Muir-Chase a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the first. Mencia's hit put Muir-Chase ahead for good.
In the second, Muir-Chase took advantage of three Tujunga errors to extend its lead to 8-3.
"It was so important to get those four runs in the first and then another four," said Cornelius, who finished with a pair of hits. "I'm just happy that we were able to keep our focus."
The Crush, who will play in an elimination game at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Scholl, scored three runs in the top of the fifth off Muir-Chase starting pitcher Olivia Thayer to pull to within 8-6, but Muir-Chase responded with a run in its half of the fifth on a fielding error to complete the scoring.
Rachel Bartamian and Thayer each had two hits for Muir-Chase. Bartamian and Cornelius scored two runs apiece for Muir-Chase.
"We just kept creating chances and were able to get some key hits," Will Thayer said.