GLENDALE — Foothill had little difficulty swinging the bats and scoring runs throughout the District 16 Major Softball All-Star Tournament. The core group also once again relied on its pitching depth en route to winning the championship for the fourth season in a row.
Foothill will now look to use that lethal combination to try to get through the next stage — the Section 2 Tournament.
Foothill aims to avenge a 1-0 loss against District 51 representative Quartz Hill in the Section 2 championship game last season when the teams meet at 5 p.m. today at Canyon Country Little League Field.
Foothill co-Coach Todd Fabian, who runs the team with Tyson Howard, said the team hasn't forgotten about last season's game, though they haven't dwelled on it while preparing for the next matchup.
"That was a great game last year and they beat us," said Fabian, whose team advanced to today's contest after it recorded a 10-3 win against Crescenta Valley in the All-Star championship game at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields on June 29 after opening with a 16-4 victory. "Anytime you lose, it's not easy.
"Since this will be our fourth year in a row [playing in the Section 2 Tournament], we have more experience. We expect a whole different level of competition and they are always looking for a new challenge."
Fabian said Foothill will need to rely on its strong quartet of starting pitchers that consists of Alex Howard, Jordan Lousararian, Danielle Ryan and Miranda Diaz.
They combined to limit Crescenta Valley to seven runs in two games in the District 16 tournament.
"I think our pitching can go toe-to-toe with anybody," Fabian said. "I'm confident with our pitchers."
The difference, however, could likely come down to timely hitting and experience.
"It's going to come down to us getting the timely hits. We hit the ball hard in the last round. We will see faster pitching this time around," Fabian said. "The nucleus of our team has been together the last three or four years. We are expecting some butterflies early, but then they will have fun."
Alex Howard said Foothill has had several quality practices to help prepare them for the Section 2 Tournament.
"Our pitchers pitch fast to our batters, so that can help out our batters," Howard said. "I like our pitching and that we've been together for a long time.
"That's pretty big because we know our strengths and weaknesses."
The winner of the Foothill-Quartz Hill game will face San Marino of District 17 or the District 40 representative at 9 a.m. Saturday. The loser of today's contest would play at noon Saturday.
The championship game will be played at 5 p.m. Monday. An if-necessary championship game would take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
The winner of the tournament will advance to the division tournament, which will be held July 14-20 in Colton.