Juniors have state feeling

GLENDALE — After winning its second straight playoff tournament, there wasn't a feeling of complete satisfaction from the members of the Crescenta Valley Junior All-Star softball team.

While their pitching and defense carried them through the District 16 and Section 2 tournaments, Crescenta Valley Coach Will Thayer would like to see the lineup get up to speed.

Crescenta Valley will get that opportunity when it participates in the Southern California State Tournament.

Crescenta Valley, which won the Section 2 Tournament on Tuesday with a 6-0 victory against San Marino at Monte Vista Little League Fields in Lancaster, will face the Section 9 representative Reid Park of Riverside in an opening-round game at 9 a.m. Saturday at Ribbons Little League Field in Victorville. The tournament will feature six teams with the winner advancing to the Regional Tournament in Arizona.

"Even though we won [Section 2], I still thought we could have played better," said Thayer, whose team outscored its opponents, 15-3, in three Section 2 contests. "We've definitely played well on defense and pitching, but we are looking for our offense to hit its stride and get some more people on track.

"It's always going to come down to pitching and that can do a lot for you. When you get in a groove with the bat, you can do no wrong. When you struggle, then you start putting pressure on yourself."

Crescenta Valley nearly advanced to the Regional last season. Crescenta Valley suffered an 8-5 loss in eight innings to Victorville in the if-necessary championship game in La Mesa.

Thayer said Crescenta Valley is looking to change its fortunes.

"We have some people coming back who played last year," Thayer said. "We are definitely looking forward to going back and it will be exciting."

Crescenta Valley third baseman Taylor Hill, who was a part of the team's extended playoff run last season, said it will take the same formula of pitching and defense to get through the next tournament.

"It's going to take a lot of hard work, but our pitching and defense has really been strong," Hill said. "We are just excited to get another chance."

Crescenta Valley's top pitchers include Olivia Thayer and Adela Alatraca.

Reid Park won the District 24 championship despite not having to play a game in the tournament. It then won two games in the Section 9 Tournament.

The Southern California State Tournament title game will be played at 6 p.m. Thursday. An if-necessary contest will take place at 6 p.m. July 29.

The Regional Tournament will be held Aug. 3-10.

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