NORTHWEST GLENDALE — In a nutshell, the Crescenta Valley Hollywood Studio Galley Tri-Cities Minor softball team had every component working for it throughout the season.
It had tremendous starting pitching, depth from top to bottom in the lineup and quality defense.
Hollywood Studio Gallery blended in all three aspects together to pick up an 11-0 win against the Foothill Killer Bees on Thursday night in the championship contest at Pelanconi Park. The game was called after four innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
"We have a very solid team from top to bottom and they came together early in the season," said Crescenta Valley Coach Joey Labellarte, whose daughter, Michela, hit a grand slam in the second inning to make it 9-0. "We came into this game with very little stress and we wanted to just go out there and have fun.
"We worked on a lot of things. We have the pitching and can hit. We work on our base running in case our bats don't pull through."
Crescenta Valley scored three runs in the top of the first inning to grab a 3-0 advantage. All three runs scored on errors. Hollywood Studio Gallery collected three hits in the inning.
Hollywood Studio Gallery pulled away in the second with five runs. Peyton Lindman Marshall was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make it 4-0.
Labellarte then stepped in the box and hit a grand slam to left to extend the lead to 8-0. It was her first grand slam this season and couldn't have come at a better time.
"I got a pitch down the middle and swung real hard," said Labellarte, who began the game at pitcher and struck out five in the first two innings. "It felt really good because my teammates count on me."
Crescenta Valley's Melissa Iyoya scored her second run in the third on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 9-0. It closed out the scoring in the fourth with runs coming on an error and wild pitch.
Hollywood Studio Galley reliever Jordan Hinkle went the final two innings and struck out five. Labellarte and Hinkle combined to allow one hit and a pair of walks.
Iyoya and Tyler Herman had two hits apiece for Crescenta Valley.
Foothill Coach Paul Poli said the Killer Bees struggled to solve Hollywood Studio Gallery.
"We have a lot of first-year players and [Crescenta Valley] is farther advanced," said Poli, who got a first-inning hit from Gabby Poli. "Their pitchers were lights out and they hit the ball well.
"We had good chemistry and worked very hard to get this far. If you had told me before the season began that we would have gotten here to the championship game, I would have been shocked."