Killer Bees on the attack

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — After two losses each by one run in prior meetings, Foothill Killer Bees Coach Jason Georges prepared and looked forward to his team's third contest with the Jewel City Arnols Angels.

The stakes were higher this time around also, as the two local squads met in the opener of the Tri-Cities Minor Softball Tournament Tuesday at Babe Herman Field.

After nearly two hours of competitive play, Georges saw his Killer Bees finally prevail over Arnols, 11-6, and advance to the second round of the tournament, where they will play Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at Babe Herman against the Tujunga Hot Shots.

"We practiced fielding, hitting, and pitching so we could challenge this team," said Georges, who witnessed starting pitcher Kristen Laulette and reliever Clara Georges combine to give up just two hits.

Despite leading, 3-1, going into the fourth inning, Foothill hadn't scored an earned run until Ava Heller hit a single off Arnols relief pitcher Luana Maza that scored Bella Urena, who had reached on an error. Maza came in for Reagan Atallah after the starter struck out nine through the first three innings.

With a 6-1 advantage thanks to Alasia Urena's two-run double, Clara Georges struck out the side in the bottom half of the fourth inning, giving her offense a chance to tack on more runs and secure avoiding another heartbreaking one-run loss.

"Alasia put the ball on the bat and hit it well," Jason Georges said. "She highlighted a game in which we got good pitching and good fielding."

The five-run-per-inning rule then had to be called in the fifth inning, as the Killer Bees saw their cushion balloon to 11-1, mainly due to fielding errors from Arnols.

Arnols made a rally, however, scoring three in the fifth — all on bases-loaded walks. Clara Georges walked five in the inning and four with two out, where Arnols scored all of its runs in the inning.

The comeback attempt didn't end there, though. With Maza on third base, Hannah Carr roped a single to right, which cut the lead to 11-5. Evie Unger picked up Carr, who was on third base after a couple passed balls, making the game 11-6.

Arnols continued to threaten, putting runners on second and third, but consecutive strikeouts ended the rally, the game and the squad's season.

"It was a tough game, but we came back and pulled together at the end," Arnols Coach Vincent Maza said. "Our season is over, but our spirits are high. It was a great tournament."

Both starters went three innings, with Laulette picking up the win and striking out three along with three walks.

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