Rebels KO'd by Nitros

LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE — Meghan Spencer got the Glendale High softball team off on the right foot when she led off Wednesday's nonleague game against Flintridge Prep with a home run.

It was a bad omen for the Rebels, as Glendale's Janette Avina hit another solo homer two batters later before all but guaranteeing a Nitros victory via the mercy rule when she belted a grand slam over the left field fence in the top of the fifth.

"I was just watching the ball and really focusing on what I had to do," said Avina, who went three for four in the game with five runs batted in. "It was just a good game overall."

Glendale pulled off the 18-5 victory with a total of four homers, but it was seven Flintridge Prep errors that ended the game two innings early as the Nitros led by more than 10 runs at the end of the fifth.

"Our goal is to eliminate our errors no matter what and to capitalize on other people's errors," said Glendale Coach Christine Paknik, whose team committed two errors. "We want to make a mountain out of a mole hill, when they mess up a little you get to make it big."

Flintridge Prep Coach Julie Jamie said the errors are a byproduct of the Rebels' inexperience.

"We have to make those fundamental plays," Jamie said. "We can't give teams extra outs every inning, that turns into 14 runs. We had ourselves in a couple jams and they had some good hits, it wasn't a good combination for us."

There seemed to be little hope for Prep (0-7) as it found itself in a 7-0 hole going into the bottom of the third inning.

It wound up being a big frame for the Rebels, as they used four hits and a Glendale (3-2) error to score four runs and cut their deficit to three runs.

"Every game we've had one of those [big] innings, we just have to make it a little more consistent and that will be in our favor," Jamie said.

Prep's four-run outburst in the third was highlighted by consecutive RBI doubles from Galper and Simon.

Galper was two for three on the day with an RBI and Simon went two for two with an RBI of her own. The Rebels, who had seven hits in the game, got their final RBI off the bat of Caitlin Gillmann. Chae Kim had Prep's remaining base knock.

Prep couldn't build on the momentum, as it committed three errors in the top of the fourth, which allowed Glendale to extend the lead back out to seven, 11-4, on a single from Brenna Cancilla, who went three for four with two RBI, that scored Rachel Bartamian and Avina, who both reached on errors.

The Nitros scored their two other runs in the inning off wild pitches.

Avina sealed the game in the top of the fifth when she blasted a grand slam, turning on a high, inside fastball to give the Nitros a 15-4 lead.

Glendale scored three more runs in the inning on a RBI double from Esmeralda Winland, who finished with two RBI, and two more Prep errors to increase the lead to 18-4.

Galper and Simon led the bottom of the fifth off with back-to-back singles for Prep and Galper came around to score on a Glendale error, but it wasn't enough to save the Rebels from the mercy rule.

"I like that we fought," Jamie said. "We put the bat on the ball and even into the last inning we continued to score and that's something that's definitely positive for us."

Glendale scored in each of the first four innings. Winland gave the Nitros a 3-0 lead with a RBI groundout in the top of the second and a two-run homer from Bartamian highlighted a four-run third that also included a Flintridge Prep throwing error that led to two runs.

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