Bulldogs roll past Nitros

SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — There was one strike separating the Glendale High softball team from a spotless first inning.

Burbank High's Laina Do didn't change her approach with a 1-2 count and two outs, though, as she lined a single into left field. The hit scored the Bulldogs' Caitlyn Brooks, who worked a lead-off walk, and Do came around to score as the ball rolled all the way to the fence on a fielding error.

"The key to hitting in my personal opinion is to have confidence," Burbank Coach Nicole Drabecki said. "Even when they're behind in the count I think our kids have the confidence and belief they can do it for us."

The Nitros needed an answer with a two-run deficit but never got it, while Burbank piled on the runs for an 11-0 victory in five innings Thursday.

"Offensively, we've got to come back [from that first inning], when we give them an inch we have to take a mile back, but we just didn't do it," Glendale Coach Christine Paknik said. "We couldn't string enough things together offensively to get it going and they take one, two [runs] an inning and this is what it adds up to when you get to five."

It's Glendale's second Pacific League defeat via the mercy rule in a row as the Nitros (5-5, 1-2 in league) have been outscored 26-0 in their past two league games after falling to Arcadia, 15-0, on March 29.

"We put the bat on the ball, but we need to put the bat through the ball," Paknik said. "I am tired of touching the ball and playing patty cake with the ball. We need to crush the ball."

The Bulldogs (10-1, 3-0 in league) were the ones crushing the ball, though, as they racked up 12 hits from seven players in the game with Katie Hooper finishing a home run away from the cycle.

Burbank pitcher Crystal Diaz silenced Glendale's bats, while also going two for three with a run batted in, as she struck out seven and allowed only three baserunners via singles to Glendale's Rachel Bartamian, Janette Avina and Kristi Cabana through five innings.

"It's not as stressful [pitching] when everyone is hitting the ball," Diaz said. "I have runs so I can hit my spots and throw pitches I don't normally throw. … My pitches were working and I had confidence in the field with my defense behind me."

The Bulldogs got another two-strike hit from Nalani Hernandez (two for four, three RBI) in the top of the third as she hit a bomb over the left fielder's head on a 2-2 pitch for a stand-up triple and two RBI.

Do (two for three, two RBI) made it back-to-back triples as she lined a shot to left field and came around to score on a Lily Winn (two RBI) sacrifice fly.

The damage wasn't done, as Diaz tripled to center field with two outs to score Ashley Russo, who singled, to bring the score to 7-0.

Burbank added three more runs on RBI singles from Hernandez and Winn and a RBI double from Kaitlin Brooks. The Bulldogs' final run came on a RBI double from Hooper in the fifth.


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