Nitros' bats explode for 11 runs

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Anything less than a win wasn't going to be acceptable for the Glendale High softball team.

The Nitros were reeling from two straight losses when they finally got back on track with a commanding 11-1 win over Los Angeles High at home in the final game of a double-header with the Romans as part of the Lincoln High Tournament Saturday.

"We needed this," Glendale Coach Christine Paknik said. "They've got to realize they have to do this every game. It has to happen every inning."

It was a cleansing victory for the Nitros, who had lost to Arcadia, 15-0, on Thursday and dropped the opener to Los Angeles, 6-5, in heartbreaking fashion Saturday.

Glendale (5-4) led, 5-0, heading into the final inning where things fell apart. Los Angeles (8-3) scored all six of its runs in the last inning off four hits and three walks.

Glendale's offense caught fire in the second game, though, thanks to Meghan Spencer and Rachel Bartamian, who combined for a total of seven hits and seven runs batted in Saturday.

"It was really important [to get this win] because it shows even if we have mistakes and have a bad game we can come back and do really good," said Spencer, who nearly hit for the cycle in the second game with a homer, triple and single and was five for seven on the day. "We came together in the second game, the first loss was a surprise to everyone, and we did it with our bats."

The Nitros took a 6-0 lead into the bottom of the third inning, but they were far from done, as Spencer and Bartamian put an exclamation point on the victory when each hit a two-run home run in the frame to cap their team's scoring.

Miriam Danial, who led the inning off with a walk, gave Glendale a 7-0 lead when she scored on a Los Angeles throwing error that come off a grounder from Glendale's Eden Marzucco.

Spencer cashed in Marzucco when she blasted a high fly ball over the left fielder and came all the way home for an inside-the-park home run, increasing the advantage to 9-0.

Bartamian hit another bomb to center field two batters later that brought her and Alia Zavala, who reached on a walk, home.

"We really need to start out hitting earlier because in the first game we could have hit that pitcher much better, but our bats didn't come alive until the second game," Bartamian said.

Paknik was going to take whatever runs she could get.

"After the first game, no amount of runs are enough insurance for me," she said. "As long as we can get them, we're cashing them."

The Romans scratched out their run on an error and run-scoring groundout in the top of the sixth.

Kristi Cabana picked up the win in the circle for Glendale, as she threw the first three innings, giving up just one walk and no hits to go along with five strike outs.

Spencer pitched the final three innings, as the game was called after the top of the sixth due to time, giving up just two hits to go with three strikeouts.

"[The win] just gives us a little more confidence," Spencer said. "Having this win under our belts makes us more confident coming into the next game, especially with our offense."

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