GLENDALE — The Crescenta Valley Junior All-Star softball team still wasn't hitting up to its potential to start the Southern California State Championships Tournament, by the squad's own admission, Saturday morning.
It didn't really matter in terms of results, though, as Crescenta Valley's pitchers carried the weight. Three pitchers combined to toss a no-hitter against Reid Park of Riverside for a 5-1 win in the first round of the Southern California State Tournament at Ribbons Little League Field in Victorville on Saturday.
Olivia Thayer, Adela Alatraca and Kellyn O'Leary only allowed two Reid Park base runners the entire game on a hit batter and a walk. Riverside, the Section 9 representative, scored its only run on an error in the fourth inning.
"[Reid Park] was pretty much stifled, they didn't have many base runners," said Crescenta Valley's Coach Will Thayer, whose pitchers had a perfect game going into the third inning. "The defense was stellar, too."
The locals were just a few inches off from putting all three aspects of the game together, too.
"We hit some hard balls we just hit them right at people," Thayer said. "If they go another way, up or down or somewhere, it's completely different. We were the superior team, we just didn't have anything fall for us."
The locals will look to put all the pieces in place tomorrow with a 9 a.m. game against Westchester Del Rey, a team CV beat twice last year.
Crescenta Valley only had five hits Saturday, but the locals manufactured five runs with small ball and an opportunistic offense.
"It's hard to score five runs on five hits without being creative — stealing bases and bunting to get people in scoring position and taking advantage," Thayer said. "Their defense was a little suspect. They made three or four errors to help us out."
Marissa Cornelius was Crescenta Valley's table setter Saturday. She scored the first run of the game after she singled to start the third inning. Michelle Peterson laid down a bunt that went for a single and a passed ball put runners on second and third. Then Thayer drove Cornelius home for a 1-0 lead.
With the game tied at 1, Cornelius got Crescenta Valley's offense started back up again for a four-run fifth inning. She reached base on an error and came around to score on a base hit from Claire O'Connor, giving the locals a 2-1 edge.
"My mind set was to get on base at any cost," Cornelius said. "You have to get the ball on the dirt any way you can and run it out."
Another Reid Park error, a run-scoring single from Cameron Rodriguez and RBI groundout from Tiffany Briscoe in the fifth inning brought three more runs home, capping the scoring at 5-1.
"I think we did really good today," Briscoe said. "In the beginning we had a rough time, but we are a good team and we got into it — got hits, got on base and that's all we needed."