NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Though the Crescenta Valley JDL Minor Softball team finished the regular season in last place in the Crescenta Valley Little League, Coach Cary McReynolds felt like his team was capable of changing direction and making some noise in the playoffs.
McReynolds said JDL needed a combination of quality pitching and timely hitting to put together a lengthy postseason run. Fresh off a first-round victory, McReynolds' hopes were raised entering Thursday night's elimination game of the Tri-Cities District 16 Tournament of Champions at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields.
Four Crescenta Valley pitchers combined on a no-hitter, but it wasn't enough in a 6-0 loss to the Burbank Heart Breakers. JDL also didn't record a hit against three Burbank pitchers.
"We knew coming in that [Burbank] had a good-hitting team and we pitched well," said McReynolds, whose team opened the playoffs Tuesday with a 10-9 victory against Vaquero Royalty at Babe Herman Field. "We had the pitching [coming into the tournament] this week.
"We hit the ball very well Tuesday. Give Burbank credit because every one of their pitchers threw strikes."
Burbank pitchers Mia Storer, Kaitlin Escamilla and Ariana Farias combined to blank JDL and move into the semifinals against the Foothill Killer Bees or Tujunga Hot Shots at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at Glorietta Park. Foothill and Tujunga will meet at 7 p.m. today at Glorietta Park.
JDL's pitching quartet of Bella Maestas, Carolyne Stern, Brianna McReynolds and Audrey Ranek did their best to match the Heart Breakers in the circle. However, Burbank scored three runs on wild pitches.
The Heart Breakers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a wild pitch with two outs. They scored three runs in the third, with the first two coming via wild pitches to make it 3-0. Burbank made it 4-0 on an error by the second baseman.
The Heart Breakers closed out the scoring with a pair of runs in the fifth. An error made it 5-0 before a force out by Mikayla Gay extended the advantage to 6-0.
"We hadn't played in a week and I thought we were a little flat," said Burbank Coach Richard Escamilla, whose team had a first-round bye. "Our pitching came up huge.
"For us to do well and win, we need to be pitching and playing defense. We have the hitting, too. We just didn't put the ball in play [Thursday]."
Emily Ruano was the lone Crescenta Valley player to reach base. Ruano walked in the third and sixth. All six Burbank runs started with walks.