Glendale Firebelles mount furious comeback

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Late in Friday's Junior Softball Tri-Cities Tournament of Champions opening-round game at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields, the Glendale Firebelles had just three outs left to score two runs.

It turned out they wouldn't even need that many to get the job done, as a huge rally in the bottom of the sixth inning not only erased the deficit, but gave the Firebelles a two-run lead over the Tujunga Fury before the first out was even recorded.

Keyed by Faedra Alcan's go-ahead single, the third-seeded Firebelles rallied for five total runs in the frame, more than enough for starting pitcher Rebekah Charters to keep the fourth-seeded Fury at bay with a scoreless top of the seventh for the 10-7 win.

"We just all pulled together," said Alcan, whose team will next play top-seeded CV Muir Chase at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Scholl for the right to meet the winner of Friday's game between Foothill Giuseppe's and the Jewel City Vaqueras on Wednesday. "Last year we were awful and this year it's really awesome to [to move on]."

After Glendale's Diana Ascencio tied the game at 3 with a ground-rule double that scored Kelly Fradet in the bottom of the second inning, the game remained deadlocked until the top of the fifth inning when Tujunga exploded for four runs on four hits, including a lead-off triple by Ary Larson.

The Firebelles' comeback began in the bottom of the fifth when three Fury errors opened the door for a two-run frame highlighted by Vanessa Ocon's infield single to plate Alcan. Ocon would score on an error later in the inning.

Charter worked around a two-out double in the top of the sixth to keep it a two-run game and the Firebelles' bats did the rest.

Fradet opened with an infield single and scored on a triple by Ascencio, who then scored the tying run on next batter Madison Cassidy's sharp single to center field.

Madalyn D'Alfonso was hit by a pitch to bring up Alcan, who dropped a base hit into center field to score Cassidy before a fielding error allowed D'Alfonso to score on the play, as well, to make it 9-7.

Alcan (two for four) scored the game's final run when she went to second on a wild pitch, to third on a fielder's choice and crossed the plate on another wild pitch.

"That was a crucial time, but the girls stepped up," Firebelles Coach Cesar Ascencio said. "They knew it was the last inning and if they wanted to win it, they had to go out there and get it."

The Firebelles took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a single by Ocon to score Fradet, who walked, followed by a fielder's choice by Alcan that plated another run.

The Fury answered quickly, however, with three runs on five hits and an error in the top of the second.

Ocon was three for four with two runs batted in and Ascencio was two for three with two RBI, while Ascencio went two for three with a walk and three runs scored.

Charters allowed five earned runs on 11 hits, while striking out six.

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