SOUTHEAST GLENDALE — Perhaps it was a 12-day layoff that was the culprit as Crescenta Valley High's softball team got off to a slow start Tuesday afternoon against host Glendale.
In the end, though, it mattered not as the Falcons more than recovered to make it a short day overall, as Crescenta Valley defeated the Nitros, 11-0, in six innings in a Pacific League tilt.
"One of the things I've been preaching to them is focusing right off the bat," said Falcons interim Coach Mark Sanford, whose team hadn't played since April 5. "After a couple innings, I suggested they focus better and get ready, which they did."
Glendale hung tough early on, even squandering a one-out, bases-loaded opportunity in the second that loomed large, as the Falcons erupted for three runs in the third, keyed by a two-run triple from sophomore Taylor Hill, and never looked back.
"We normally come out a lot stronger than that, but we pulled it out in the end," said Hill, who had one of eight hits for the Falcons, who also drew eight walks and three hit by pitches.
For Glendale (1-4 in league), which was also coming off a 12-day layoff, it was hampered by six errors that equated to five unearned runs. Still, Coach Christine Paknik was pleased with her team's effort considering it came on a day in which the team was without four starters — three due to grade ineligibility and one due to sustaining a dog bite.
"I have no complaints," Paknik said. "It was a disruptive day."
The Falcons (9-4, 3-2 in league) followed their three-run third with two unearned runs in the fourth, a pair of runs in the fifth and then four in the sixth.
"I think we rounded into form, starting hitting the ball and playing well," Sanford said.
Hailey Cookson had two walks, a single and two runs for the Falcons, while Allison Lacy reached base four times, had a pair of runs batted in and a run scored, Hannah Cookson went two for three with a RBI and a run and Jessica Morena added two walks and a run. Whitney Craig added a pair of walks and two runs and Brady Sanford was one for one with a double, two walks, a run and a RBI. Chloe Fairbrother and Claire Ortiz also had run-scoring singles, with Fairbrother tossing the final two innings and striking out three.
Olivia Thayer got the start for the Falcons, pitching four scoreless, no-hit innings while battling through five walks and striking out five.
"I think her best trait is that she battles," Mark Sanford said of Thayer.
Walks to Nitros Krissel Meraflor, Eden Marzucco and Mariam Danial loaded the bases in the second with one out, but a line drive to right field by Diana Lopez was snared by Ortiz, who then took advantage of some bad baserunning to turn a 9-6 double play and end the threat.
"I think it all corresponds," said Paknik of her team's miscues. "You let a little leak get through and it floods quickly."
Glendale had one last good chance at getting on the board in the fifth, when Lopez was hit by a pitch, Brenna Cancilla reached on an error and Rachel Bartamian then singled hard up the middle for the Nitros' only hit, but Lopez was gunned down at home as Lacey blocked the plate perfectly.
Both teams will move forward with Thursday showdowns against their archrivals, as CV hosts Arcadia and Glendale travels to Hoover.