GLENDALE — Capable pitching and the arrival of some hitting just in the nick of time still weren't enough to save the Crescenta Valley Junior Softball All-Stars from an uncharacteristically off-day in the field.
Eight glaring fielding errors led to seven unearned runs for Victorville, which defeated CV, 10-8, in the championship game of the 2010 Junior Softball Southern California State Tournament in La Mesa on Thursday to force an if-necessary championship contest between the two teams at 5:30 p.m. today for the right to advance to the Regional Tournament in Tucson.
"We hit well enough to win the game," Crescenta Valley Manager Will Thayer said. "We just didn't play well at all on defense."
Four errors through the first five innings contributed to Section 2 champion Crescenta Valley's 6-1 deficit going into the top of the sixth inning. But a sudden burst of offense allowed CV to not only get back in the game, but to momentarily take control of it.
Tiffany Briscoe led off the frame with a double, paving the way for a huge seven-run inning, capped by a two-run single by Olivia Thayer that gave Crescenta Valley an 8-6 lead.
Marissa Cornelius and Grace Poole each plated a run with back-to-back fielder's choice ground balls during Crescenta Valley's key sixth that also included a double by Whitney Craig and a single by Taylor Hill.
Thayer, who pitched the first four innings, came back out for the bottom of the sixth, but after giving up two hits she was undone by four consecutive errors. Victorville, the Section 8 champion, plated four unearned runs in the inning to go back up by two.
"If we had played our game on defense, we could have won the game, but obviously we didn't execute," said Thayer, whose team had defeated Victorville, 6-3, earlier in the tournament. "We just didn't hit the ball early. Other than [the sixth inning] we were shut down."
Taylor Hill doubled and scored Crescenta Valley's first run of the game on a single by Heurkins in the top of the fourth inning.