LA CRESCENTA — A few minutes after the Crescenta Valley High softball team suffered a 3-1 Pacific League home loss against Arcadia on Thursday, Crescenta Valley Coach Mark Stamford didn't want to know how many runners the Falcons left on base.
Seconds later, Samford inquired about the total number of runners stranded — eight.
"The big stat [is] how many runners we left on base," said Samford, whose team could have locked up sole possession of second place behind Burbank in league with a victory Thursday as Burroughs lost to the first-place Bulldogs. "We had a runner on base almost every inning."
Crescenta Valley dropped to 14-10-1, 10-4. Arcadia improved to 17-6, 10-4 and completed the two-game season series sweep of Crescenta Valley. The Apaches notched a 4-0 home win against the Falcons on April 18. With Burroughs having finished at 10-4 in league, there is a three-way tie for second place heading into the playoffs. Crescenta Valley swept both contests against Burroughs, which played later Thursday against Burbank. Burroughs swept Arcadia.
For the Falcons, it was a missed opportunity to clinch second.
"It wasn't one of our lucky games," said Crescenta Valley center fielder Hannah Cookson, who hit a solo home run in the third inning to give the Falcons a 1-0 advantage.
Crescenta Valley left a pair of runners on base in the first and second and left the bases loaded in the fourth, leaving the door ajar for the Apaches to mount a comeback.
They did, as the Apaches scored three runs in the sixth against Crescenta Valley starting pitcher Olivia Thayer, who held the Apaches to a pair of hits through the first five innings..
The Apaches knotted it at 1 on a run-scoring single by Jennifer Noriega. With runners on first and third with one out, Katelyn Morreale stole second with the throw hitting off the glove of the shortstop for an error. That allowed Izzy Mejia to score from third to make it 2-1. A sacrifice fly by Mackenzie Grimes to left closed out the scoring.
The Falcons couldn't solve Arcadia starting pitcher Monica Baerg, who retired the side in order in the sixth and seventh. Baerg, who blanked the Falcons in the first meeting, limited the Falcons to five hits and struck out four Thursday.
"You've got to give credit to Arcadia," Samford said. "We didn't give them anything [offensively], but they got the big hits.
"We have to practice Friday and get ready for the playoffs."
The CIF Southern Section office will unveil the division playoff pairings Monday.