NORTHEAST GLENDALE — A pair of Crescenta Valley 10- and 11-year-old softball players mentioned after Saturday’s Little League contest that they couldn’t wait to smack the ball against the pitchers from the Vaquero/Jewel City-Jewish War Veterans squad.
Peyton Marshall said she was impatient, and described teammate Brianna McReynolds as “feisty,” at the plate and in the circle.
But Marshall and McReynolds didn’t get many opportunities to hit because they had to remain patient against two struggling pitchers.
Crescenta Valley drew 13 walks, with Marshall walking three times, and had 10 hits in a 16-5 victory at Scholl Canyon Park in an opening-round of the District 16 two-team, double-elimination all-star tournament. The game was called at the end of the fourth inning because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Crescenta Valley and Vaquero/Jewel City-Jewish War Veterans will play in the championship game at 3 p.m. today at Scholl Canyon Park. An if-necessary game would be played on Monday.
“When you’re up and a couple of girls hit the ball hard, you just want to smack it,” said McReynolds, who was two for three with two walks and three runs scored. “But coach says don’t get ahead of yourself.
“I have to show people on the other team that I have as strong [a bat] as they do.”
Added Marshall: “You want to hit the balls that are strikes.”
Crescenta Valley didn’t see many strikes, as Vaquero/Jewel City-Jewish War Veterans threw 138 pitches, 87 for balls.
“We were used to playing with a smaller [11-inch] softball,” said Vaquero/Jewel City-Jewish War Veterans Coach Christina Cruz, whose team had to use a 12-inch softball in the tournament. “The tournament is a different game. They just have to get used to the ball.”
A number of players were strong for Crescenta Valley.
Marshall and Melissa Iyoya each scored three runs, and Lizzy Akhkashian and Francesca Nolte had two runs scored apiece. Taylor Hoogenhuizen, Michela Labellarte, and Kaitlyn Dols each scored once.
Ten Crescenta Valley players scored after drawing a walk.
“It’s just patience,” Crescenta Valley Coach Joe Labellarte said. “Patience is one of the things you have to deal with. It comes with the territory.”
Diane Castillo stood out for Vaquero/Jewel City-Jewish War Veterans, scoring two runs on a two-for-two performance. Sammy Serrano, Brianna Banuelos, and Galilea Guzman also scored.
Said Cruz: “We’ll come back strong [today].”