NORTHEAST GLENDALE — With their season on the line, the Glendale Firebelles junior softball team responded after two scoreless innings of play with a deluge of offense, scoring 17 runs over the next three innings of a 17-3 victory over the Tujunga Fury in a Tri-Cities tournament consolation bracket elimination game Wednesday afternoon at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields.
The triumph, the Firebelles' second over the Fury in this tournament, advanced Glendale to tonight's consolation bracket final versus either Muir-Chase or Giuseppe's at 6 back at Scholl.
"What I liked most about my girls is that they came ready to play and compete," Firebelles Coach Cesar Ascencio said. "They showed up and took advantage of their opportunities."
Glendale stole 17 bases in total, including 11 in a nine-run third inning in which the Firebelles ran away with the game.
In the third inning alone, three players stole home, including Firebelles leadoff hitter Vivi Ocon, who walked with one out in the third and then swiped second, third and home over the course of two at-bats.
"I liked how the girls were aware of the situation and that they could steal," Ascencio said. "They put themselves in situations were a few hits would score some runs."
Tujunga didn't help its cause much either, as the Fury surrendered 12 walks, 12 wild pitches and committed four errors.
Overall, the Firebelles only needed three hits to score nine in the third and seven hits in the game to plate 17 runs.
Kelly Fradet (two for four with two RBIs) singled and tripled in the third to knock in two runs and sister Lacie Fradet also connected on a run-scoring single that accounted for the Firebelles' three hits in the third.
Just in case there was any doubt, the Firebelles scored another seven runs in the fourth inning, aided by five walks and six wild pitches with the only hits being a single from Lacie Fradet and a pop single from third sister Danielle Fradet (two runs and two stolen bases) that brought home Bekah Charters.
Glendale's final run came in the fifth when Ocon (four stolen bases) blasted a run-scoring single to center field that scored one, but led to Diana Ascencio being thrown out at the plate.
Despite being down 16, the Fury scored a run in the fourth on a RBI single from Eryn Llewellyn and then added two more runs in the fifth on back-to-back errors by the Firebelles.
"Even though this game didn't go the way we hoped, we still had a pretty good season," Fury Coach Frank Llewellyn said. "You have to credit the Firebelles, they knew we had issues throwing out girls and attacked us. We would have done the same thing."
Wednesday's victory was a complete turnaround from the Firebelles' come-from-behind 10-7 win over the Fury on June 15 in the opening round.
"Hopefully, we'll show up and play as well [today], whether that's against Muir-Chase or Guiseppe's," Ascencio said. "If we play like we did today, we'll have a good chance."