A summer that's seen two championships won, 10 impressive victories, a winning combination come together and a run to the Western Regionals was almost squandered in one calamitous inning.
But the fleet feet of Calley Ellingford were able to at least even things up before the familiar Arizona lightning and rain once again washed away the night, as the Crescenta Valley-Foothill Junior All-Stars were all tied up with Gilroy of Northern California, 8-8, in the top of the fifth inning Monday night at Arthur Park in Tucson, Ariz., when the game was called after a lengthy delay.
It was the second night in a row in which rain wreaked havoc on CVFH (10-1), as it was forced to postpone its Sunday night game with Thornydale of Arizona, which CVFH defeated, 6-3, to advance into a 7:30 p.m. game on Monday night against Northern California. So, CVFH and Gilroy will resume their game at 5 p.m. Tuesday with the winner set to play Oregon, which lost to Alaska, 7-0, in a game called early due to the weather, at 7:30 p.m.
It's hardly a situation CVFH looked headed for after taking a 7-0 lead into the fourth inning. But then the wheels fell off, as starting pitcher Adella Alatraca, who had pitched brilliantly in earning the win in the first game of the day, gave up three walks and two hits, while the defense behind her committed two errors. The result was an eight-run Gilroy outburst that gave them an 8-7 lead. But CVFH quickly countered thanks to Ellingford singling, stealing two bases and scoring on a sacrifice fly to the game at 8.
With Alex Howard in the circle for CVFH and a 1-1 count, the game was called in the top of the fifth.
Up to that point, Sammy Fabian was two for two with two runs scored and a walk for CVFH, which has already won Section 2 and Division III tournaments. Howard had three runs batted in, Jordan Lousararian had two runs and Ellingford had two walks and a pair of runs to go with her single.
In the bottom of the first, Fabian led off with a single and Lousararian followed with a two-out single that put runners on the corners. Fabian then scored on a double steal as she swiped home for a 1-0 lead. Lousararian later scored to make it 2-0 off a Howard single to left.
The game looked to have been turned for good in the bottom of the third, as CV led off with two walks, got three consecutive singles and a bases-loaded double by Howard to cash in five runs in the stanza. Lousararian and Ellingford scored on an error before Paige Baker, Claire Smith and Sammy Fabian all singled to load the bases just before Howard unloaded them.
It was all erased and surpassed in the top of the fourth though, as calamity struck CVFH in the form of an eight-run Gilroy inning. A pair of errors, three walks, two singles and a bases-loaded double added up to the damage. Alatraca was relieved by Howard, who got out of the inning, but not before uncorking a wild pitch that allowed the go-ahead run to score. Alatraca was charged with all eight runs, but only two were earned.
To the locals' credit, they fired right back, thanks to Ellingford, who tallied a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. She then stole second and third base before scampering home to tie the game on a Tiffany Bartamian sacrifice fly.
CVFH began the day with a 5 p.m. game against Thornydale of Arizona and collected a 6-3 victory thanks to a clutch Bartamian double that scored Lousararian and Ellingford in the bottom of the fifth. Alatraca also came up big, posting three shutout innings in relief for the win.
As has been a formula for success throughout its tournament run, CVFH's offense struck early on Monday against Thornydale.
In the bottom of the first, Camie Ellingford, who reached on a fielder's choice, scored on a two-out single by Lousararian for a 1-0 lead. Thornydale briefly evened the game with a run in the top of the third, but Miranda Diaz led off the bottom of the inning with a single and then came around on a Howard base hit. Howard would later score on a two-out Calley Ellingford single to up the advantage to 3-0.
After allowing a one-out double to Alyssa Lovato, Lousararian, who started the game in the circle, gave up a two-run home run to Illena Santos that squared the game at 3.
Lousararian finished the game allowing four hits and three runs in four innings, with two strikeouts and no walks.
After Bartamian's two-run double in the fifth, Howard, who was three for four with two runs and one driven in, put the game to rest when she singled with two outs and then scored on a Camie Ellingford double.
Alatraca retired the side in order in the seventh to finish off a sterling performance in which she allowed just one hit over three innings and struck out two, while walking none. Bartamian and Calley Ellingford had two hits each.