SAN MARINO —The Crescenta Valley 9-10 All-Star Softball team looked like it was going get blown out in the second round of the Section 2 Tournament against Quartz Hill on Saturday.
Quartz Hill carried a five-run lead into the bottom of the sixth inning, but Crescenta Valley put together some last-second offense and scored three runs in the final frame. It wasn't enough, though, as Quartz Hill shut the door for what ended up being a narrow, 7-5, victory at the San Marino Little League Fields.
"We had a little bit of a rally going, but we just couldn't seem to finish it up," said Dan Abboud, Crescenta Valley's coach.
The loss puts Abboud's squad in the tournament's loser's bracket. Crescenta Valley will face Granada Hills at the San Marino Little League Fields at 4 p.m. today. The winner of today's game will face Quartz Hill in the Section 2 championship in San Marino Monday at 5 p.m.
Alli Lombardo, Crescenta Valley's starting pitcher, cruised through the first two innings Saturday. She recorded six strikeouts for her first six outs and finished the game with 10 punch outs. Quartz Hill eventually connected and put up four runs in the third inning, thanks to two Crescenta Valley errors, three walks and three run-scoring singles.
Crescenta Valley answered back in the bottom half of the third, as Elizabeth Heineman and Mallory Hill started the inning with a double and a walk, respectively. Lombardo helped her cause and drove them both in with a single, cutting the deficit to 4-2.
Quartz Hill extended its lead out to 7-2 in the top of the fourth inning. Errors and walks cost Crescenta Valley again, as Quartz Hill turned five walks and an error into a three-run fourth inning.
The deficit looked like too much to overcome, except those in the Crescenta Valley dugout. The local squad had confidence after defeating Granada Hills, 8-7, in walk-off fashion Friday.
Crescenta Valley looked to do the same thing Saturday. Joelle Ly and Peyton Hause were both walked to start the bottom of the sixth inning for the locals. Heineman drove in Ly with a groundout and Hill brought Hause home with an RBI single to cut the lead to 7-4.
Things really started going Crescenta Valley's way when a walk to Alexis Abboud brought the tying run to the plate and a passed ball put runners at second and third. A throwing error, from Quartz Hill's catcher to the pitcher, scored Hill, but Abboud was thrown out trying to advance to third on the play.
The play brought Crescenta Valley to within 7-5 but also stood for its second out. The next batter, Lombardo, walked, but a groundout to first ended the game in Quartz Hill's favor.
Abboud is still confident about his team's ability to work its way to a Section 2 championship, even though it will have to be done through the loser's bracket.
"We'll come to play," Abboud said. "We have to conserve some of our pitching now because we're going to go back-to-back. It will be a little bit of a challenge but I think we can do it."