SAN MARINO — Before winning in rather unconventional fashion, the Crescenta Valley 9-10 All-Star Softball squad received a key defensive play from one of its outfielders.
In an inning that had the District 16 champions three outs away from advancing to the second round of the Section 2 Tournament, Crescenta Valley right fielder Peyton Lindman Marshall caught a fly ball hit to her, then threw a runner out at second base for the double play.
It stopped the bleeding that was District 40 champion Granada Hills scoring three in the inning to tie up the ballgame. It also set the stage for CV to walk off as the winner in its half of the inning.
Daisy Kim led off the bottom of the sixth with a single to shallow left. Two batters later, Elizabeth Heineman advanced Kim to second on a groundout. On the throw to first, Kim took third base, forcing Granada Hills fielders to try and get her out. Instead, the errant throw ended up in the Crescenta Valley dugout and Kim was able to jog home on the dead ball, leading to what just so happened to be the game-winning run.
"Kim is a very savvy runner, she knows what she's doing out there," Crescenta Valley Coach Dan Abboud said after the 8-7 win Friday afternoon at San Marino National Little League Fields that sets up a showdown with Quartz Hill today at 3 p.m. in the winner's bracket.
Quartz Hill eliminated Crescenta Valley (4-0) last year — something Abboud remembers all too well.
"We're coming at Quartz Hill as strong as we could," he said.
Trailing, 2-1, with the bases loaded and two outs in the second, Alli Lombardo's grounder to second looked like it would be a routine play to get out of the jam. What transpired was three runs scoring and Lombardo safe on first after the ball took a bad bounce and landed in right field.
Lombardo later scored on an error to give Crescenta Valley a 5-2 advantage.
Granada Hills scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, cutting the lead down to 5-4.
With runners on second and third in the fifth inning, Crescenta Valley's Alexis Abboud reached safely on an infield single that plated Peyton House and Jennie Chacon to run the tally to 7-4.
The runs would prove to be important for Abboud, as she would pitch into trouble in the sixth inning — her third inning of relief work — and watch the lead evaporate.
Crescenta Valley was able to ultimately put the pressure on Granada Hills in its half of the inning, however.
"We knew we only needed one run," said Abboud of the bottom half of the sixth inning. "We were just looking for singles, so we can get some runners on, and run the bases."
Abboud struck out three batters in relief work of starting pitcher Chacon. At the plate, she went three for three with three runs batted in.