Crescenta Valley Kiwanis downs Foothill Tommy's for championship berth

GLENDALE — The Crescenta Valley Kiwanis minor softball team will play in the District 16 Tournament of Champions final after defeating Foothill Original Tommy’s, 14-8, Wednesday afternoon.

Kiwanis was able to consistently put the ball in play and was relentless on the base paths.

But it was ultimately taking advantage of Original Tommy’s errors that proved to be the difference, as Crescenta Valley earned four of its 14 runs, while subpar Foothill defense accounted for the other 10.

“We hit the ball well against a good team and a really good pitcher,” Kiwanis Coach Mark Bitetti said of Foothill pitcher Kylee Lousararian. “I don’t think another team has been able to get to her.”

Despite the loss, Lousararian went the distance, striking out 13 batters and giving up the four earned runs on nine hits.

Also the leadoff hitter, Lousararian and the Original Tommy’s offense was potent to the tune of eight runs — six earned.

“All of our runs were earned and all of theirs were unearned,” Original Tommy’s Coach Manny Gil said. “That’s the nature of the game. Our defense was just not there today.”

Crescenta Valley starting pitcher Natalie Bitetti also pitched a good game, striking out eight and giving up nine hits. Mark Bitetti said the pitcher also had good support behind her.

“We played some good defense,” Mark Bitetti said. “They put the ball in play. We just made some plays.”

Natalie Bitetti got run support early, as Kiwanis scored two runs in the top of the first inning. The bats didn’t come alive until in the third, though, and she got things going with a two-run single to give Crescenta Valley a 4-1 lead.

Natalie Bitetti stole second base and reached third on an error, setting up Alex Schwalbach to bring her home with a single.

Schwalbach continued the solid base running by stealing third base and scoring on Azlyn West’s sacrifice, which extended the Kiwanis lead to 6-1.

Foothill answered with four runs in the bottom of the third inning, highlighted by RBI doubles from Valerie Bernal and Bella Urena, cutting the Kiwanis lead to 6-5.

Errors would plague the Original Tommy’s defense again in the fourth, however. Kaitlin Austin reached on an error to lead off the inning, stole second base, took third base on a passed ball and scored on an infield single from Karlie Vinciria, who also scored on a fielding error.

Leading, 8-5, Kiwanis added four runs on two hits in the fifth inning.

Foothill wouldn’t let up, though, and scored three in their half of the fifth to cut the Crescenta Valley lead down to 12-8.

Original Tommy’s would never lead in the game, however, and would see its season end after the time limit rule was called with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

“We had a good season,” Gil said. “It was a rough start, but I’m happy with the way we finished.”

Crescenta Valley will travel to Scholl Canyon for the finals on Saturday.

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