NORTHEAST GLENDALE—The Burbank All-Stars and the Foothill All-Stars will meet for the third and final time in the District 16 9-10 All-Star Softball Tournament if-necessary championship Monday.
Foothill defeated Burbank Friday afternoon, earning it a berth in Sunday’s championship game. Meanwhile, Burbank set up a rematch with Foothill with a win over Crescenta Valley in an elimination game Saturday.
A second win in three days over Burbank Sunday would have given Foothill the championship. Instead, Burbank stayed alive in the tournament and handed Foothill its first loss with a 12-6 triumph, setting up the winner-take-all game Monday at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields with the time to be determined.
“This will be their fourth game in four days,” Burbank Coach Shawn Broyls said. “To have them come back and still have the energy and heart [says something about them.]”
Foothill was without its coach for much of Sunday’s game. Paul Poli was thrown out in the second inning of Sunday’s game after exchanging words with a parent of the opposing team and then arguing with the umpire.
“A girl got a hit [off Foothill starter Gabby Poli] and the parent of the girl heckled and said, ‘Good hit on an illegal pitch,’” said Foothill assistant Manny Gil, who took over for Paul Poli. “Words were exchanged.”
A heated Paul Poli left the dugout and walked toward the Burbank bleachers where the parent met him nearby and continued the argument. Both men were separated.
The ejection came with Burbank leading, 4-1, with two outs in the bottom of the second inning after scoring two runs apiece in their first two innings. Foothill scored its first run on a passed ball that allowed Amanda Briones to sprint home on a walk to Clarece Gil.
Foothill took the lead with a four-run third inning, highlighted by a two-run double off the bat of Alasia Urena to cut Burbank’s lead down to 4-3. Urena plated the game-tying run on a throwing error. After Briones gave Foothill the team’s first lead of the contest on a passed ball, Kylie Lousararian’s single scored Elie Escobar for a 6-4 lead.
Foothill’s scoring would end there, however, as Burbank scored six unanswered runs divided evenly in the final three innings. After tying the score at 6 in the fourth, Victoria Garcia’s two-run double in the fifth inning gave Burbank an 8-6 advantage, a lead that wouldn’t be relinquished this time.
Garcia finished the game with two doubles and four runs batted in.
Burbank starting pitcher Sidnie Dabbadie held Foothill’s bats at bay after giving up the lead in the third inning as she didn’t allow a hit thereafter. The hurler pitched a complete game and struck out six batters, including the side in the fifth inning.
“In the second inning, she told me she wasn’t feeling it,” said Broyls who is surely glad he didn’t take his starter out as he gave her a game ball afterwards. “She gave up five in the third but then pitched three outstanding innings.”
Poli also went the distance, striking out eight but ultimately couldn’t overcome fielding errors by the Foothill defense.
“The heat got to our pitcher, but she battled back and we can’t ask for anything more,” Manny Gil said. “We had a problem with errors, but we’ll be better tomorrow.”
Broyls is also confident in his team with one more game to play.
“I think they’re ready to play,” he said. “You can’t put a value on coming back and beating a strong team.”