NORTHWEST GLENDALE — After taking an early lead in the first inning, the Crescenta Valley High softball team took complete control in the second Thursday afternoon at Hoover.
The Falcons pounded out 12 runs on 13 hits, led by Hannah Cookson's three-for-four, three-RBI day, and rode a one-hit performance in the circle from Olivia Thayer to a 12-1 Pacific League win shortened to five innings by the mercy rule.
"I thought they did a really good job given the emotion of last week and coming into this week before spring break," said Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Samford, whose team (8-4) improved to 2-2 in league coming off losses to Burroughs and Burbank last week. "We'll battle our way through and see what happens in the end. ...The main thing is focus and concentration."
The defending league co-champion Falcons took advantage of two Tornadoes errors and a two-run double by Taylor Hill (two for four) to go up, 3-0, in a first inning that saw eight batters come to the plate.
Hoover cut the lead to 3-1 in the second inning when leadoff batter Kenya Buckley reached on an error and later scored from third base on a throwing error. That was the last the Tornadoes' offense would be heard from, however, as Thayer would hold the lineup hitless the rest of the way. Hoover's Briana Manzanero had a bunt single in the first inning for her team's only hit.
Crescenta Valley's lineup was just getting started. The Falcons sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the second, beginning with Claire Ortiz, who reached base on one error and ended up on third after another. Hailey Cookson (two for three) singled Ortiz in, Allison Lacey knocked Cookson in with a double and Hannah Cookson singled to right field to plate Lacey and put CV up, 6-1, before an out was recorded.
Whitney Craig and Ortiz also had RBIs in the inning, which ended with the Falcons up, 8-1.
"We didn't rebound, we just couldn't adjust," said Hoover Coach Rich Henning, whose team fell to 5-6 and 2-2 in league. "It totally took us right out of our rhythm and took us right out of the game.
"We have to be lot more consistent than what we are right now."
Thayer retired the Tornadoes in order in the bottom of the second and neither pitcher allowed a hit in the third and fourth inning before Crescenta Valley had another offensive cloudburst in the top of the fifth.
Ortiz singled to left field, Hailey Cookson doubled to put runners on second and third and both scored when Lacey laid down a bunt that was misplayed for an error. Hannah Cookson put an exclamation mark on the scoring with a two-run home run that hooked inside the right-field foul pole.
"We just hit," Hannah Cookson said. "[Manzanero] is a good pitcher, but if we keep getting hits than we all get hits.
"[Our chances in league are] good. I think we can take it. We're good enough."