Hit parade propels Falcons

NORTHWEST GLENDALE — If there's been one area of consistency so far this season for the Crescenta Valley High softball team, it's hitting.

After nine games, it's easy to fathom with each member of the lineup stepping to the plate and capitalizing on any opportunity given to them.

Crescenta Valley banged out 19 hits Thursday afternoon en route to a 12-2 Pacific League road victory against Hoover. The game was called after six innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.

"That's been the key for us," said veteran Crescenta Valley Coach Dan Berry, whose team improved to 8-1, 2-0 in league. "It's something we've been able to do, even in our one loss.

"We have some real good hitters, like Sydney House."

House was one of seven Falcons to record a multiple-hit game against Hoover (1-5, 0-1).

Crescenta Valley, which finished second in league last season behind Burroughs, also got another fine performance from senior pitcher Erin Ashby. The Stanford-bound Ashby, the reigning All-Area Player of the Year, recorded 10 strikeouts in four innings before being moved to shortstop.

Ashby (5-1) struck out the side in the first and second innings after giving up a lead-off infield hit to Kenya Buckley. The Falcons then backed up Ashby with their bats.

"Erin pitched extremely well in the circle," Berry said. "Her strikeouts set the stage early, along with our offense."

The Falcons scored two runs in the first against Hoover starting pitcher Katie Gates, capped by a run-scoring single by Cece Martinez, who finished with four hits, to make it 2-0.

Ashby and Allison Lacey each drove in second-inning runs to extend Crescenta Valley's lead to 4-0. Lacey made it 5-0 with a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Hannah Cookson doubled in a run to make it 6-0.

A wild pitch made it 7-0 before the Falcons extended the lead to 8-0 on a run-scoring single by Brielle Walker in the fifth. Walker finished with three runs batted in, including her final two on a double in the sixth to make it 12-0.

Hoover had no answer against the Falcons in the first of two season meetings against Crescenta Valley.

One positive for the Tornadoes came with the play of Buckley, who recorded three hits, three stolen bases and made three nice catches while sometimes battling a swirling wind.

Buckley, a center fielder, scored one of the Tornadoes' two runs in the sixth on a two-run single to center by Kaitlyn Williams.

"Kenya did a great job out there on offense and defense," said Hoover Coach Rich Henning, whose team finished with five hits. "This game is definitely an eye opener for us because CV is always good, well coached and prepared to play.

"That's something we need to do a better job of. I got all of my players into the game so they can understand that more."

The Falcons also received multiple hits from Ashby, Cookson, Jessica Morena, Walker, and Kelly Bako. Hoover got one hit each from Williams and Briana Manzanero.

Crescenta Valley, which began league competition with a 33-0 road win against Muir on Tuesday, and Hoover will next meet at 3:30 p.m. April 28 at Crescenta Valley.

"Hoover has got some speed at the top of its lineup and they can makes things happen," Berry said. "[Henning] will make them into a better team."

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