GLENDALE — Whatever holiday weekend plans the Crescenta Valley Major All-Star Softball team may have had will have to be postponed.
And that’s just fine for Crescenta Valley, as the home team punched its ticket to the Section 2 tournament after a dominant 7-1 victory over defending champion Tujunga in the District 16 winner-take-all championship game Wednesday evening at Scholl Canyon Ball Fields.
With the win, Crescenta Valley earned advancement to Friday’s first round at Quartz Hill at 5 p.m. versus nearby District 17 champion San Marino.
“You try to play your best all the time, but for us to have played our best against Tujunga in years today is incredible. We expected a close game against a very, very strong team and this is surprising,” Crescenta Valley Coach David Fox said. “These girls were outstanding.”
Maybe no one was as stellar as Crescenta Valley ace Jordan Hinkle, who allowed one run on five hits in a complete-game victory that included seven strikeouts.
“I didn’t think the score would be like this,” Hinkle said. “I thought we’d win, but not like this. I just tried to pitch my best.”
While Tujunga placed six runners in scoring position, only one scored in the fourth inning, when Rebecca Silvrik, who led off with a double, came home with one out on a single from Emma Johnson, who advanced to second base via a wild pitch.
The run brought Tujunga within 5-1 with a runner in scoring position.
Hinkle responded to the uprising by inducing a harmless infield popup followed by a strikeout of Ryelle Cox to escape the jam.
“She actually said she had a bad feeling in her gut about today’s game,” Crescenta Valley’s Melissa Iyoya said of Hinkle. “Then she came out and pitched like this.”
Hinkle’s defense, which has been at shaky at times during the district tournament, was particularly clutch Wednesday, including snuffing out rallies in the fifth and sixth innings.
Tujunga’s Liz Meza led off the fifth with a sharp double to right field, but tried to extend her extra-base hit into a triple.
A 9-6-5 relay that ended with a tag by Iyoya at third of Meza helped stamp out Tujunga’s offensive effort.
In the very next inning, Hinkle plunked Silvrik to lead off the sixth. Two pitches later, Silvrik took off for second and stole the base, only to fall off the bag and be tagged out.
The inning and the game ended two batters later when Hinkle struck out Johnson.
“Our outfield relays and our ability to throw out base runners is something we’ve had issues with and we’ve worked on,” Fox said. “That work showed off today in an important game. It was a great game for our catcher, Elizabeth Heinemann.”
Offensively, Crescenta Valley scored all the runs it needed with a two-out, two-run single from Everly Pompa in the second that scored Iyoya and Hinkle to put the home team up, 3-0.
Crescenta Valley added two runs in the third when Tyler Herman, who singled with one out in the inning, scored on an error and Joelle Ly (walk) came home on a wild pitch.
Hinkle scored on a wild pitch in the fourth to put Crescenta Valley up, 6-1, while the team’s last run came on a run-scoring single from Hinkle in the fifth.
Crescenta Valley’s first run of the game came when Amy Wurst singled and scored on a sacrifice fly from Ly.
The win was the second for Crescenta Valley over Tujunga in the tournament after a 10-7 victory on Saturday. Tujunga forced Wednesday's winner-take-all game after a 9-8 victory Tuesday.
Crescenta Valley’s winning roster also included Taylor Hoogenhuizen, Brianna McReynolds, Francesca Nolte, Hanna Wright, Emily Outlaw and Elizabeth Akhkashian.