Lacey helps Falcons top rival

ARCADIA — Knee surgery wasn't going to keep Allison Lacey off the diamond.

It apparently hasn't stopped the Crescenta Valley High catcher from running the bases aggressively, either.

Making her return behind the plate for the first time this season after previously playing in the infield, Lacey rewarded herself by scoring three runs to help visiting Crescenta Valley post an 8-1 Pacific League win against rival Arcadia on Thursday afternoon in a Pacific League contest.

Lacey, who also contributed a key run-scoring double, ran the bases without discomfort and helped Crescenta Valley improve to 12-3, 4-1 in league. Arcadia dropped to 3-7, 2-2.

"In my first game catching, I felt great," said Lacey, who had surgery on her right knee in November. "I caught during practices over spring break, but it felt good to get into a game.

"My knee feels perfectly fine. We knew that we had to pick it up [Thursday] because they are our rivals. Things worked out."

The Falcons scored a pair of runs in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. Erin Ashby walked and moved to second when Lacey was hit by a pitch. A wild pitch moved the runners up a base before Hannah Cookson made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly to right field. Lacey then scored on a wild pitch to extend the advantage to 2-0.

In the second inning, Lacey provided another spark. She hit a run-scoring double to left-center field to make it 3-0 before scoring on a wild pitch to widen the lead to 4-0.

"I've been working on my swing and pulling the ball more," Lacey said. "I focused on the ball and hit it on the sweet spot."

Ashby, the reigning All-Area Player of the Year, took care of the Apaches through five innings. The Stanford-bound Ashby (8-2) struck out nine, including the last three batters she faced.

Ashby allowed one hit and one walk for the Falcons, who last played April 2.

"It's always going to be a rivalry game, so you have to come out ready to compete," Ashby said. "We came out and got those two runs early and that gave us a cushion.

"It's a great game to be able to come back [from spring break] and test yourself."

Crescenta Valley made it 5-0 in the fourth on a throwing error by the first baseman. It then scored three runs in the sixth.

The Falcons took a 6-0 lead on an error by the shortstop, one of eight committed by the Apaches. Maria Leon had a run-scoring single to make it 7-0 before Christina Tomic grounded out to shortstop to drive in the Falcons' final run.

Arcadia scored its run in the seventh on a home run by Kenzie Grimes.

Crescenta Valley Coach Dan Berry said Ashby and Lacey executed when needed.

"Erin did extremely well," Berry said. "She was strong and had a lot of pop on the ball.

"With Allison, she can do a lot of things. She got that big hit with the double.

"We try to stay aggressive. When you can put the ball in play, things will happen. It just comes down to having a little confidence."

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