NORTHEAST GLENDALE — Although the Crescenta Valley Muir-Chase junior softball team had built a nine-run lead against the Glendale Firebelles through five innings Thursday, CV Coach Will Thayer wasn't convinced his offense was where it needed to be.
Crescenta Valley calmed Thayer's worries in the sixth, as it exploded for eight hits and seven runs in the sixth and final inning for a 16-0 victory in Tri-Cities Tournament consolation bracket elimination game at Scholl Canyon.
"We got off to a little of a slow start," Thayer said. "We just couldn't center up the ball. There were a lot of Texas Leaguers that were falling in for us and we were fortunate for the longest time and by the fifth and sixth innings we started to square it up and that was the difference."
The win puts CV in a rematch with Foothill Giuseppe's, which defeated Muir-Chase 9-5 Wednesday for its first loss of the tournament, today 6 p.m. at Scholl in the championship, hoping to force an if-necessary game.
"We just need to stay in the game and put our all into it throughout the entire game [tomorrow], " said Crescenta Valley's Adela Alatraca, who pitched three shutout innings with six strikeouts and went three for four with two runs batted in in the game.
CV racked up a total of 19 hits in the game with nine players contributing at least one hit. Sisters Callie and Camie Ellingford each went three for four on the night for Crescenta Valley, along Shiyin Lim. Viviana Sandoval-Walsh drove in four runs in a two-for-four performance for CV, which got three RBI from Camie Ellingford.
"We needed to get our self-esteem back up and this game really helped us," Alatraca said.
Crescenta Valley jumped out to a 5-0 lead out of the gate on four hits and an error in the first inning. Taylor Schaffer (two for five) grounded out to shortstop to score Callie Ellingford — who was hit by a pitch, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch — for the first run. Tiffany Bartamian made it 2-0 with a bloop single to left and scored on a double from Alatraca, who then came home on a Sandoval-Walsh grounder.
The Firebelles were poised to cut into the lead in the bottom of the first when Diana Ascencio and Kelly Fradet singled and walked, respectively, and then executed a double steal to put runners at second and third with one out.
Alatraca kept Glendale off the board, though, as she struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
"That great team over there stopped our momentum right off the bat," Firebelles Coach Cesar Ascencio said. "We were ready to score but they did what they had to do."
Alatraca (one hit allowed with three walks) and Lim combined for the shutout. Lim closed out the last three innings in the circle with three strikeouts and one hit.
Diana Ascencio and Bekah Charters logged Glendale's two hits of the game with singles. While Cesar Ascencio was happy with his team's effort, he knew it simply lacked CV's offensive firepower.
"The scoreboard doesn't show what we brought today," Cesar Ascencio said. "I am still happy for the girls, they showed up to compete and never put their heads down no matter what the score was. …We had some quality innings but if you don't hit the ball, you're not going to get on the board and that showed tonight."
CV pushed its lead to 9-0 with another run in third on a Lim RBI single, two more in the fourth on a Camie Ellingford two-run double and another in the fifth on a Sandoval-Walsh RBI double.